Note: I was very sure I was going to catch open question period on March 29, but then I found out that Friday sitting hours happen at 11AM and not 2PM. The following Thursday, I found out that Thursday will have Friday sitting hours when Friday is actually Good Friday. Then I found out the next sitting hours will be after the due date for the blog posts. I'm aware I missed the chance, but I wrote this pre-show entry before I found out about Friday sitting hours so I thought I'd post it anyways. I get it if it doesn't get any marks though—thanks anyways. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Before the show.
I’ve been the most hesitant to approaching this live event because I am completely under the assumption that it’s going to be very boring. I can see the appeal and the theatrical qualities in theatre, dance, orchestra, and sports events—the way the story might hold your attention, the beauty of the music or the movements, the bustle of the crowd, the investment that the audience has in what they’re watching—but I can’t really imagine all that in watching a bunch of politicians debate.
I’m sure it’s very interesting for the people involved, but as someone who doesn’t know much about politics and finds arguments tedious, I can’t imagine myself being very invested in this event. I’m pretty sure I went to go see open question period in the eighth grade, when I went to Ottawa for my elementary school graduation trip, but all I really remember is that there was a phone that could translate to the official language you understand best in real time, and that I sat beside my teacher so I tried my best not to fall asleep (and was failing spectacularly).
I’m hoping I’m proven wrong and it turns out to be quite interesting. I think what I’m going to do is focus on body language and tone of voice, and try to spot when people are agitated or hiding something. That will probably be interesting because it really is absolutely live—they won’t be acting for the sake of an audience, they’ll be discussing things and making decisions that could potentially impact my life as someone who lives in the country they are governing.
I guess that’s what would be intriguing: there is nothing “fake” about this event (aside from maybe some very sneaky politicians, but I don’t think I’ll be able to tell the difference at this point in time). All the events I’ve watched so far have had a certain drama about them, or a sense of showmanship—something they do that will impress the audience, or impress something upon them. What happens during open question period is significant for a large amount of people, even if there is no audience at all to witness it.
Then there’s all the traditional ceremonious stuff that I assume will happen at any event that occurs in parliament, like standing for the national anthem. I can’t really think of any other official ceremonious things that might occur, but I guess I’ll find out soon
I know this is probably a far, far stretch, but I hope there’s a point where they dim the lights dramatically. Literally all the theatrical events I’ve been to so far for this class have had theatrical and dramatic light-dimming before the show started, and it would be so great if open question period was the same. I know it probably won’t happen but a girl can dream.
Hello! My name is Reine Tejares, and this is my blog for THE 2100: The Theatrical Event at the University of Ottawa.