36 Questions, with Simon Ward : : Preview

“It’s not a trick, it’s just a gateway to communicating openly with someone.”

 

Based on a psychological study by Arthur Aron, 36 Questions premieres next week at the Basement Theatre.

 

The show is under production by actor Simon Ward. Introduced to the concept last year through this popular NY Times article, Ward wanted to find a way to bring it’s premise to the stage.

 

“I just found the idea fascinating. I’ve been through years of acting classes and gone through those sort of exercises with connecting and focus, and that sort of thing, so it really spoke to that… It made sense to me.”

 

The article that inspired Ward is written by ­­­Mandy Lee Catron. It features Catron undergoing a series of 36 questions with a relatively unknown acquaintance. These 36 questions are designed to push the participants into a willing sense of intimacy, moving at a pace that is relatively comfortable, yet also thrusting them months forward in their relationship. The article ends with the pair falling in love, though the author admits this may have happened anyway. 36 Questions aims to turn this experience into an exhibition, with two strangers meeting each night to undergo the experiment publically. No acting, no rehearsals, just real connections.

 

Known more for his work on stage than off, Ward originally ran this idea past a producer friend. His contact was certain 36 Questions needed something more to justify its staging, however Ward maintains that any theatrical tampering would defeat is original and pure purpose.

 

“And then she ended up moving overseas so I just decided to see if the Basement would go for it, and they did.”

 

The Basement Theatre’s immediate interest might have originally surprised Ward, however the public’s response quickly revealed the popularity of this concept.

 

“I made the Facebook page and had done my sweep through of invites and the numbers kept ticking up - I’m not inviting more people? So the people who expressed interest, I started looking through, and I didn’t know half of them!”

 

Ward accounts this interest to the authentic nature of 36 Questions. With a surplus in Auckland of both chaotic and pristine theatre, maybe people just want to see something really genuine.

 

This interest is likewise present in some of its applicants (Ward set up a Facebook page to scout potential partakers), though the actor has also been surprised by the hesitation of many.

 

“People are weirdly intimidated by it. I think there is this idea of chemistry between people, as being something a little bit magical and hard to pin down. The way some people have reacted to the idea of doing it, you have to reassure them they’re not being hypnotised or anything.”

 

While Ward maintains this stance, he also admits he has never actually participated in the experiment, something he does feel is a bit “cheeky”. Which lead us to the second (and much more extensive) part of the interview. In a noisy café on Queen Street, Ward and I decided to tackle the questions that will feature in the show. What followed was a mash-up of hesitation, laughter, and you guessed it, intimacy. I found myself revealing my inner workings to this stranger, and quickly became invested in both his past experiences and future aspirations. The experience ended with us feeling undeniably connected, not romantically, but irrevocably none-the-less. The producer had previously told me, it’s not necessarily about a romantic love, but about forming a connection with almost anyone. Had Simon Ward and I met in a bar in Auckland would we have gotten to this point? Unlikely, with us being completely unconnected – a decade apart, journalist versus actor, a student against a professional. Yet there we were, a successful product of this “exercise in friendship”.

 

Experimental theatre in its most raw form, 36 Questions presents a unique opportunity in socialisation, a chance to publically view a private interaction. The innovative production opens this coming Tuesday, with tickets available here.

10 comments

  1. Robby 26 July, 2016 at 04:49 Reply

    It has recently received considerable media attention due to its purported effects on weight loss, although there is no clinical evidence to support this
    claim.

  2. Sang 1 February, 2019 at 09:52 Reply

    Ahaa, its pleasant conversation about this piece of writing
    here at this webpage, I have read all that, so
    at this time me also commenting at this place.

  3. gamefly 5 May, 2019 at 00:24 Reply

    Wow, wonderful blog format! How long have you ever been running a blog for?

    you make running a blog glance easy. The total look of your site is magnificent,
    as well as the content material!

  4. minecraft for free 8 May, 2019 at 14:08 Reply

    Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your site
    in web explorer, would test this? IE nonetheless is the market chief and a big part of other folks will omit your
    excellent writing because of this problem.

  5. g 11 May, 2019 at 11:15 Reply

    I got this web page from my buddy who told me regarding this website and at the moment this time I am browsing this web site
    and reading very informative articles here.

  6. minecraft free download 14 May, 2019 at 08:17 Reply

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but
    I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share.
    Thank you!

  7. minecraft download for free 16 May, 2019 at 12:06 Reply

    I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners
    and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will
    be a lot more useful than ever before.

Leave a reply

Recommended for You