Staging a Meeting

Rowena Loverance interviews playwright Charlotte Jones

Left: Charlotte Jones. Right: The stage set for 'The Meeting'. | Photo: Helen Maybanks.

How does your average audience member respond when they enter a theatre and find a Quaker Meeting in progress on the stage? They chat to their neighbour and fiddle with their phone, presumably. But no, apparently not. Rather, they fall silent and uphold the Meeting. And maybe, even, this reflective start goes on to affect the quality of attention they give to the rest of the play. As playwright Charlotte Jones, observing this audience behaviour, noted: ‘Silence is a very powerful practice. Afterwards, some people said to me: “I loved the silence. I wanted more!”’

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