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Theatre doesnt have much relevance anymore. Or so acclaimed playwright Darren ODonnell tells us. The dynamics of unplanned social interaction, he says, are far more compelling than any play he could produce. So his latest show, A Suicide-Site Guide to the City, isnt really a show; its an interactive chitchat about memory, depression, and 9/11, a dazzling whirl of talking streetcars, pizza and schizophrenia. And its hilarious.
ODonnells artistic practice has evolved into something as close to hanging out as you can come and still charge admission. With his theatre company, Mammalian Diving Reflex, ODonnell has generated a series of ongoing events that induce interactions between strangers in public; the Talking Creature, Q&A, Home Tours, the Toronto Strategy Meetings and Diplomatic Immunities bring people together in odd configurations, ask revealing questions and prove the generosity, abundance and power of the social sphere.
Social Acupuncture includes the full text of A Suicide-Site Guide to the City and an extensive essay on the waning significance of theatre and the notion of civic engagement and social interaction as an aesthetic.