Civil Debates: Online discussion goes live
Civil Debates is a monthly series that invites two speakers from opposite sides of an argument to debate their perspectives for a live audience. It is also a forum for all attendees to participate and vote on who and what they agree with.
We hope this will be an opportunity to extend the online community we have developed over the years in a face-to-face setting, bringing those conversations into a physical space. We’re enthused by the intelligent and civil discourse that has developed on praxistheatre.com, particularly in the comments of posts about hot button issues.
This got us thinking – ‘Hey – as a theatre company, shouldn’t we doing this live in a space with human bodies?’
The topics for the initial four debates will be curated via a gallery installation January 12 and 13 at The Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre.
A dual system will be used in facilitating participation: Both sticky notes and a laptop will be available to post issues and ideas that people believe would benefit from more debate. These can be posted to topics like: Theatre, Politics, The City, and Whatever. There will also be the opportunity to suggest who you think would be a great debater.
The goal is to emerge with four questions that will inspire compelling debaters to participate in an event that has genuine community interest.
Debates will take place monthly at The Theatre Centre at 1095 Queen St. W (Queen and Dovercourt) in February, March, April and May 2013.
Debate format will be based on the Canadian Parliamentary model with two speakers for either side. Just like the best acting, each debater should have a responsibility to hear the arguments that come before them and respond – not just deliver a prepared statement.
Each debate will have a moderator whose job will be to ensure debaters obey the general rules as well as the speaking format. The formal debate will last around 40 minutes.
At the end of the debate, the floor will be opened to other participants, each of whom can speak for a period of two minutes. All participants, speaking and non, will be provided the opportunity to register their vote on the topic at the conclusion of the evening. These results will be posted back here on praxistheatre.com where further debate and conversation, as always, is encouraged.
Join the Debate
If you are interested in being a debater or moderator, drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us why critical, respectful debate is important in 150 words or less.
Hope to see you in the tent during the final weekend of The Next Stage Festival. This series begins when we get our topics from you.