The Evolve Experience is stressful. That was the one-word description a member of the audience voiced, at a preview dress rehearsal for the show—which plays four times at the Winningstad Theatre this weekend. The dozen or so community and media members assembled all nodded in agreement.
Other words that might describe the ongoing work of the Red Door Project, an organization that uses primarily theater arts to explore the relationship between law enforcement and the greater public?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Red Door Project has been turning heads with their boundary pushing plays since at least 2016, when Hands Up, a series of monologues about racial profiling, exploded into art world discourse. To say that the show was successful is an understatement. They followed it up with 2018's Cop Out, monologues about police experience, drawn from conversations with predominantly African American officers. Eventually Red Door combined the two shows into the Evolve Experience, which was less of an exercise in equivalency than it was a multidimensional chart of perspective.
I saw Evolve Experience in 2019, and it was both illuminating and overwhelming. The form Evolve Experience takes currently is less awe-inspiring, but also easier to understand—which is the whole point of the performance.Continue reading »