Films give viewers the choice

The Theatrical Response Group (TRG) initiative and WA first is expected to go viral.

TRG launched the hard-hitting campaign last Thursday via social media platforms as a link to the film #emilywasted.

Focusing on youth issues such as alcohol abuse, violence and youth crime, each film enables the viewer to make decisions throughout that change the way the film plays out and, ultimately, ends.

Video annotations technology creates seamless transitions from decision to decision, with the aim being to deliver a continuous and uninterrupted sense of story.

Seeing what would have happened if done differently is a key aspect of the films.

Each video allows the viewer to go back through the story and make different decisions to see the outcome.

The first in the series � #emilywasted � comes hot on the heels of the success of TRG�s interactive theatre classes at Kalamunda, Eastern Hills and Lesmurdie High schools last year.

Year 9 drama students participated in scenarios created through shared experiences about bullying.

TRG arts and education development manager Danielle Antaki said �forum theatre� provided ideas for youth-engaging plays, written and directed by Scott Corbett and presented by drama students to their peers, other schools and the wider community.

The �your call, choose your own adventure concept� � where the reader/audience determines the outcome � first became popular as interactive books in the early �80s.

TRG developed the concept for school drama and now online with this month�s launch of #emilywasted.

The group�s first school theatre production, Drinking Games, is about peer pressure and based on the tragic true story of a Perth teenage girl who died from alcohol poisoning.

A second play, called Isolation, tackling online bullying launched in March.

Ms Antaki said interactive forum theatre was the brainchild of Brazilian theatre director and political activist Augusto Boal.

�He always had a joker character (who narrates the story) and he saw the potential of theatre to make social change,� Ms Antaki said.

Working with students, Ms Antaki said TRG gleaned a powerful insight into issues affecting today�s youth.

The next film, ShirtFront, will come out later this year to address young male confrontation and aggression, while the third in the series will focus on car theft and joyriding.

TRG is the 18-month-old youth division of the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation, funded by the WA Department of the Attorney General Criminal, Lotterywest and WA Police.

For more information about the films, visit www.yourcall.rocks and to book a TRG theatre production, call 9272 0000.