Fri. & Sat. August 4 & 5 at 8pm. Sun. August 6 at 7pm. (Note non-standard curtain time)
Directed at Ko by Alex Torra (Team Sunshine)
With participation by KoFest artists, a secret lineup of local performers, and members of the Detroit ensemble A HOST OF PEOPLE
In an era where facts don’t seem to matter, in an area where fractious town meetings are the rule, and in a time when we have lost all sense of the humanity of those who disagree with us — we invite you to an evening of utter nonsense.
What is it?
The Society of Civil Discourse is an interactive night of debate, appreciation, hating and rhetorical excess. It’s all about style, not substance.
The event gives people a chance to have fun in community, with art at the center. Its an event where the line between performer and audience member gets blurred. You can come and quietly watch the entire night, or you might take us up on this opportunity to show off your best rhetorical skills. You might even be might tapped for the Great Debate that concludes the evening. But most of all, you’ll have the opportunity to learn to love the people you argue passionately with.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?
The best way to understand is to watch this brief video:
As you can see, the evening’s events will happen in several phases. Attendees get name tags and there is a brief period for mingling, beverages, after which all present are called to order and invited to become members of the fictitious SOCIETY OF CIVIL DISCOURSE. After a brief and fun induction ceremony, audience members are invited to circulate between three or four different talking stations at their own pace. At these stations your trained facilitators will guide you into a debate, gripe session, appreciation. You might defend an opinion: Pick a card with silly opposing views on it. Defend one. You listen to others make noises of appreciation 0r disagreement. And at any time you can take a break to get a drink or a snack.
THE FINAL PHASE IS THE GREAT DEBATE:
Professional Argument Teams and a few outstanding audience members selected from Phase 1 engage in a 5 round debate over a secret topic. After choosing a team name there will be 5 debate rounds:
Round 1: Opening Statements
Round 2: Personal testimony
Round 3: Fake statistics
Round 4: Mime
Round 5: Closing statements
We invite you to watch, heckle, applaud and vote for the winners.
The meeting of the Society of Civil Discourse is formally adjourned but you are invited to stay and hang with all the cool people you’ve just met — and argued passionately with.