At FDMT we get really excited about works that bring groups of people together for collective experiences. I have not yet gotten to experience Last Audience but am hoping to soon. Last Audience explores how participatory actions within a theatrical context can be unifying and transformative for groups of people. Castro writes of the work:
Enacted specifically and uniquely with and by each audience, Last Audience is a live laboratory for the communal work of conjuring. Comprised of a set of unique scores written for each performance, the piece grapples with agency and manipulation, negotiating the individual and the collective inside a theatrical context. Drawing on language and themes from requiems and Greek classical tragedy on judgement and democratic formation, Last Audience moves inside the unstable space between the perfunctory and the transformative.
The performance begins with a pre-show meal, COMMUNE, prepared by Yanira Castro. These free, communal meals are open to the public to embrace the forms of congregation and collectivity that come with sharing food and a conversation. Invited guest artists share a reading and dessert.
During the Pandemic the work has transformed into a participatory score that audience members can accomplish from home on zoom and in museum spaces. The performance manual, spread across five booklets, was released by the MCA Chicago.