The Mixtape: A Documentary Theatre Process

See the Mixtape in action: Girlcott Hartford will present “Raising Our Voices: An Evening of Story to End Gender Injustice” on March 31, using the Mixtape process.

The Mixtape is a documentary theatre process that mixes the techniques of journalism and playwriting with the aesthetics of the podcast to create story-driven performances that explore complex human issues through intimately personal experiences.

Through a series of group discussions and writing activities, participants in the Mixtape generate the ideas and stories that will make up an evening. Participants write the raw materials that are them shaped (by a show curator) into a performance script.

The script uses the aesthetics of podcast storytelling (think “This American Life,” “Snap Judgement,” “On Being”) to shape the raw materials. Some stories take on journalistic narrative structures. Some are conducted as live interviews. Some can take the form of a game show with audience participation. Some are straightforward monologue. In all cases, the aesthetics and structures of new media storytelling are matched with stories to best deliver their content.

Those blocks are then strung together into an evening, performed by the participants.

The Mixtape is designed to empower individuals and communities to tell their stories through the discipline of theatre using narrative structures that speak to a 21st Century audience. The Mixtape supports the ideals of positive representation without appropriation. The Mixtape is a highly flexible storytelling process that can be used by theatre companies, schools, businesses, and community organizations to delve deeply into complex social issues through the universal experience of story.