OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE
“Offending The Audience” is an “anti-play” that was written in 1966 by the Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke. This 45-minute lecture about theater must, by necessity, take place in a theater while attempting to be as un-theatrical as possible.
In this particular adaptation, seven children between the ages of six and twelve remove the audience from the artificiality of a critical discourse of artifice by introducing real play into a play that, for all its avant-garde seminality is, to a contemporary ear, far too self-conscious to be listened to. The children’s lack of pretense allows the audience to experience the piece empathetically. This fresh take on Handke by no means resembles a conventional children’s play. Rather, it is a conceptual gesture that is staged in a conventional theater.