“AT FIRST we thought it was a comet. We were slightly concerned because comets don’t normally travel as fast as this...then it changed course and we got really worried. Comets don’t change course. Whatever this is it isn’t natural..."
So begins P.I.S.C.E.S. (Potential Impact on Society of Contact from Extraterrestrial Species ), the new play by Galway based theatre-maker John Rogers in the Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane, from May 3 to 5 at 7pm, as part of the Galway Theatre Festival.
A craft or probe of non-human origin is detected entering the solar system on a trajectory for Earth. A committee of experts have been assembled to decide what humanity’s response should be.
This will not be a traditional theatre performance. Rather than a monologue, P.I.S.C.E.S. takes the form of a debate as Rogers and the audience (who, by attending, will play the part of the committee ) decides on what to do. Each show culminates in an audience vote to decide how the play ends, ensuring a different performance every night. The audience will also be encouraged to use their phones to Tweet in an on-going live poll throughout.
"This way the show will have two audiences,” Rogers explains. “The audience sitting in the theatre and the outside audience following proceedings on Twitter. If Contact happened tomorrow, a lot of us would hear about it for the first time on Twitter or Facebook. Not only will we first hear about it on social media but it’s in the digital realm where we will trash out the implications of contact.”