Undesirable Elements is an ongoing series of community-specific interview-based theater works examining issues of culture and identity of individuals who are outsiders within their mainstream community. It's not a traditional play or documentary-theater project performed by actors. Instead, Undesirable Elements is presented as a chamber piece of story-telling; a “seated opera for the spoken word” that exists as an open framework that can be tailored to suit the needs and issues facing any community. Each production is made with a local host organization and local participants. The development process includes an extended community residency during which Ping Chong + Company artists conduct intensive interviews with potential participants and get to know the issues and concerns facing that community. These interviews form the basis of a script that weaves cast members’ individual experiences together in a chronological narrative touching on both political and personal experiences. The script is performed by the interviewees themselves, many of whom have never before spoken publicly. Since 1992, there have been over 40 productions in the series. Originally, the shared trait between the performers was their experience of living between cultures. In recent years productions in the Undesirable Elements series have expanded thematically.
If you are interested in learning more about bringing Undesirable Elements to your community, contact Bruce Allardice.