While You Were Out, a brand new work by Hayley Finn, is theater unlike I have ever experienced it before. It focuses on the inner thoughts of one character, which the audience can hear through individual headsets. This experience almost felt like being put into a trance like state. Headphones have become so commonly used nowadays, I’ll admit that I wear them about 8 hours a day, but listening to them as part of a play was an entirely new experience.
The headsets are not the only unique part of this show, you also get the change to choose if you want to watch (and listen) to this character in their twenties or in their fifties. One thing that I love about theater is that each performance is unique and this ‘dual tracked’ play makes this fact even more true. You could come and see the show twice, and depending on what age you choose can see an entirely different show (discounted tickets are also available for returning audience members).
This set up may sound strange but it is executed extremely effectively. The stage is set up in a long oval with the two groups seated in an arch around each side, allowing you to focus on your story but still peak at the other if you so desire. The two sides do intersect at points so regardless of which you choose so you get to experience all the top notch performances.
This show almost feels other worldly, but still very human. After all it focuses in on the inner thoughts of a character in a way that I have never experienced before. It is a fascinating exploration of how things in our early life affect us, and how certain themes and thoughts repeat in our lives.
While You Were Out is playing at Red Eye Theater the next two weekends, check out their website for exact dates and times. If you love wearing headphones, love theater or are just looking for something to do I recommend you head over to Red Eye and see While You Were Out while you still can.