In Pharmasphere, Pedro Reyes stages a theatrical history of the production, distribution and consumption of prescription and illegal drugs in the Americas from prohibition times to the present day. Performers in the roles of farmers, gangsters, drug lords, politicians, soldiers, doctors and pharmacists demonstrate how the chemicals that we consume connect and impact us all. Using techniques developed by Brazilian theatre practitioner Agosto Boal in his consciousness-raising Theatre of the Oppressed, Reyes engages the audience with issues that are too often avoided, or filtered to us through the perspectives of the media, politicians and corporations. Empowered as “spect-actors” audience members help shape the narrative as it is performed, exploring alternative outcomes and new modes of confronting and working through our multifaceted war against drugs. Pharmasphere is the first iteration of a workshop and performance that will form part of The People’s UN (pUN), an exhibition and event by Pedro Reyes taking place at the Queens Museum of Art, New York in Fall 2013.
Funded by the generous support of members of the Contemporary Visiting Committee.
This event took place July 19, 2013.
A special thanks to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts’ Pre-College Summer Studio.
Photo by Ricardo De Lima