Samara Hersch

Body of Knowledge

Photo by Pier Carthew

Who passes on knowledge about the body? Where does it go?
A dialogue between teens and adults begins

Although teenagers living in the Kansai area perform in this piece, you do not see them on stage. This work of participatory theater begins with chairs arranged in a circle, twelve unknowing audience members, and the ringing of cellphones. It proceeds to unfold through the audience’s conversation with the teens on the other end of the line.

Samara Hersch’s practice explores the intersections among different communities. In this work, she focuses on the formation of knowledge around sex education and our bodies and attempts to create intergenerational conversations about topics spanning sexuality, aging, and death. The teens ask simple questions to the audience on the subject of “things about the body you’d want to ask an adult.” How would you respond to such frank inquiries, which might even make adults blush?

Through their conversations with the teenagers, the audience members encounter various political and social perspectives regarding the body and its effect on others and the world at large. On stage, the hierarchies between categories like adult/child, teacher/student, and performer/audience get dismantled, and the positions begin to intersect. There, alternative methods for sharing our knowledge and wisdom may be revealed.

10.1 (Sat) 15:30 / 19:00 
10.2 (Sun) 15:30 ♡ / 19:00
10.6 (Thu) 19:00
10.7 (Fri) 19:00
10.8 (Sat) 18:00
10.9 (Sun) 18:00
10.10 (Mon) 18:00

Reception opens 60 min prior to the performance, doors open at the show start time.
♡ Childcare Service

Duration: 105 min

Language: Japanese only

Age limit and other information:
No admission for audiences aged 19 and under (due to the fact teenage performers interact with an adult audience). Audiences may not enter after the performance has started. Please note you will be required to hand in your mobile phone before the performance. 12 people per performance.

Advance ticket:
 Adult ¥3,000
 Youth (25 and under), Students ¥2,500
 Pair ¥5,500

Day tickets: Advance ticket price +¥500.
Seating: Admission ticket

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Samara Hersch

Melbourne, Amsterdam

Samara Hersch
Photo by Pier Carthew

Samara Hersch is a director from Australia, currently based between Amsterdam and Melbourne. She recently completed her Masters at Das Theatre in Amsterdam. Hersch’s practice explores the intersection of contemporary performance and community engagement. Her recent body of work focuses on critical trans-generational dialogue with an enquiry into conversation as performance. These works include: Body of Knowledge, a work that invites teenagers to host conversations with adults regarding questions they have about the body, Sex and Death, an intimate encounter led by performers in their seventies and eighties and For the Time Being a remote, inter-generational encounter.

Concept and Lead Artist: Samara Hersch
Dramaturge: Maria Rößler
Creative Technologist: Fred Rodrigues
Set Design: Belle Santos
Lighting: Jen Hector
Artistic associate: Zsofia Paczolay
Producing Support: Freya Waterson
Local Translator and Youth Support: Keiko Yamaguchi
Artistic Advisors: Mette Ingvartsen and Edit Kaldor
And a team of extraordinary young people from Japan.
Realized in the framework of Be SpectACTive! – CapoTrave/Kilowatt, Artemrede, Bakelit Multi Art Center, Brut, BUDA Kortrijk, Cafè de las Artes Teatro, Domino, Divadelná Nitra, Dublin theatre festival, Göteborgs stadss kulturförvaltning/ Stora teatern, Institution Student Cultural Centre, Occitanie en scène languedoc-roussillon, Plesni teater, Tanec praha, Teatrul national Radu Stanca.
Co-commissioned by SICK! Festival in Manchester, Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, Carriageworks in Sydney. An early version of this work was developed at DAS Theatre in Amsterdam. ​
Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan through the Japan Arts Council and National Arts Council, Japan Foundation for Regional Art Activities [Intergenerational Thinking]
Presented by Kyoto Experiment

Samara Hersch's Body of Knowledge at Kyoto Experiment is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.