How To End Poverty in 90 Minutes (WITH 199 PEOPLE YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW)
Currently touring and available through partnership and/or residency models with theaters, presenters, universities and community organizations.
This is not a play; it is not a lecture; it is not an interactive workshop; it is not a physical theatre piece; it is not a public conversation. How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes (HTEP) is all of these things. Most significantly, it’s an opportunity to challenge a different audience every show with the question: how do you attack the problem of poverty in America, with a lens specifically focused on your community. Over the course of 90 minutes, the audience will listen, explore and ultimately choose how to spend $1,000 cash from ticket sales sitting onstage at each performance. The show is an experiment in dialogue, in collective decision-making, in shared responsibility, and in the potential for art to help us make our world a better place. Spectacularly eclectic in form, often delightful and occasionally uncomfortable, How to End Poverty engages audiences alongside community experts. Come spend with us.
Sojourn Theatre’s How to End Poverty in 90 minutes (with 199 people you may or may not know) is a devised, community specific participatory theatre event that explores issues of poverty and democracy by allocating $1000 from the box office at every performance to a local organization that fights poverty. The audience decides where the money goes. The show’s plot is not a single story, but the journey of strangers (the audience) making a decision about how to best engage with a seemingly intractable and complex public issue.
The production, created after a year of research and community partner-building opened in May 2013 at Northwestern University. Since then, Sojourn has mounted productions in Portland, Oregon (professional premiere at Portland Playhouse); Cleveland, OH (presented in collaboration with Cleveland Public Theatre & United Way of Greater Cleveland); Big Sky, Montana (Warren Miller Performing Arts Center); Walla Walla, WA (Whitman College); Seattle, Washington (Seattle University); Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt University); and Baton Rouge (at LSU).
Since its inception, HTEP has contributed to over $70,000 being repurposed from the arts economy to the anti-poverty economy. HTEP is our most developed manifestation of an aesthetic that blends adventurous theatricality with real time, task-based connective encounter amidst strangers.
Contact us to discuss how we could work with you to bring this project to your site, or to oversee a production with local student creator/performers.
PRESS ON HTEP