Jeremy Goldstein is the creative force behind Truth to Power Café, a cathartic theatrical experience in which people of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds have been invited to share their responses to the questions, “Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?”
Jeremy is very proud to have created a space where people are given the opportunity to speak about an experience that is important to them and which they feel is important to everybody. The participants have applied in advance giving 100-word responses to the questions and if selected their answers will evolve through the process of co-creation into a short story of 500 words which they will tell in their own voice. Appearing in Sydney alongside a diverse range of 24 voices over three nights, are Aboriginal drag artist Nanna Miss Koori and Kate Rowe who was arrested at the first Mardi Gras.
Finding that personal voice is very important to Goldstein whose own struggle to deliver himself from his father’s influence is an integral part of the show. Their relationship was relatively difficult while Goldstein was growing up and he feels he wasn’t really able to resolve consequent tensions until after his father’s death.
“I have only found my own voice in the last four years,” he says.
So passionate is his belief that people need to be empowered to speak the truth of their experience that Goldstein has created a new theatrical genre. Ordinary people are invited to step up onto the stage and, in speaking their truth, bring into the open personal, political or attitudinal obstacles that deprive them and others of self-fulfilment. The participants can, in effect, stage their own drama, be writer and actor, and discover that they can take charge of their own direction.
Goldstein’s opposition to disempowerment and his call for truth telling are both very relevant at the moment. According to his observation as an intermittent visitor to Sydney the city has changed most in its attitude towards First Nation Peoples. The long due recognition now given to the oldest culture in the world might be seen as a direct consequence of Aboriginal insistence upon the need for truth telling about the past.
While it was once fashionable – and maybe still is – to say truth is relative, Goldstein’s heartfelt belief that speakers know the truth of their stories – of their loss, of their determination, of their resistance and of their hope – and that truth has the power to move, is revolutionary in a time of general deceit.
Truth to Power Café will be at the Riverside Theatres, March 11-13.