Chris is free after a period of incarceration.
He is a changed man and is doing well — but his ex and her children are not.
With his fresh start challenged by his old, troubled world, Chris will be forced to make choices, and he needs your help.
Been Through Enough is an edgy, original live theatre show by the fledgling charitable trust Happy You. . .!! theatre company.
‘‘It’s always been my dream to have a theatre company that employs people who’ve been involved somehow in the criminal justice system,’’ Milton Jobbortunities manager Ruth Carraway said.
Mrs Carraway is an actor and director with a history of bringing theatre to corrections facilities, and most of the seven cast and crew have first›hand knowledge of the themes their performance deals with.
Originally planned for the Covid›disrupted Dunedin Fringe Festival, Been Through Enough began in late January with a story drawn from collaborative brainstorming and experience.
Mrs Carraway then structured a script for the group to workshop and rehearse which retained the flexibility for improvisation demanded by the revolutionary Augusto Boal ‘‘forum theatre’’ technique.
An all too true›to›life story unfolds onstage before the audience, who reflect on what they have seen during intermission.
They then watch a second time —but now with the power to call a halt and participate in changing the outcomes.
Mrs Carraway interfaces between audience and cast, enabling ‘‘spect›actors’’ who want to make a difference.
‘‘It’s a powerful medium to promote change,’’ Milton actor› producer and Project Bruce community development manager Kim Schiller said.
‘‘It’s about the difficulties faced after incarceration. We do not condone the past; we acknowledge it to encourage re›assimilation and positive change, reducing reoffending and building mutual empathy between very different kinds of people.’’
Mrs Carraway said the aim was for communities and young people at risk of making bad choices to experience the life›changing nature of forum theatre, but often among the most profoundly affected were those from more fortunate walks of life.
‘‘The audience can stand in the shoes of a character they’d never dreamed of being, then character, actors and all the audience get to see outcomes from a choice or option they may never have imagined.’’
Been Through Enough (R18) will be presented at Te Whare o Rukutia, 20 Princes St, Dunedin from May 26›27 and June 3›4.