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Why you should talk to strangers

With the University Post you now have a unique opportunity to win free tickets to the staging of Edward Albee’s 'The Zoo Story'

»When did I last have a conversation with a complete stranger?«

This question will probably pop into your head when you watch Edward Albee’s ‘The Zoo Story’. This one act play concerns conversation, or rather the lack of it. Two strangers from different parts of New York meet by chance on a bench in Central Park. A forced and broken conversation develops between them, ending by changing their lives.

The play was written by Edward Albee in 1958. It is about many different topics, but the most important is the role of conversation in our society.

Conversations are stressful

Conversations between two strangers in reality are just as dysfunctional as in ‘The Zoo Story’. Last spring, the Danish railways company DSB set up, for one day, a ‘conversation coupé’, where passengers were encouraged to share a conversation with fellow, unknown passengers. But the participating passengers complained. They said they felt it forced, and stressful.

According to British philosopher Theodore Zeldin, people today live ‘bubble lives’, isolating themselves from the world by only conversing with their closest network.

A study quoted on the BBC news site showed that people between the ages of 20 and 40 lose one friend a year. With such odds against us, we had better start talking to strangers. Who knows? We might meet a friend.

Watch the play and have a say

By staging ‘The Zoo Story’, the That Theatre Company wants to bring conversation in our modern society up for debate.

The University Post seconds that and will now give you a unique opportunity to see the play before everyone else at a pre-premiere on 24 and 25 October.

All you have to do is answer this: ‘You want to make a new friend. What do you do?’. When you answer, say which day you want to take part, either 24 October or 25 October, and remember to write your contact details.

Send your short response to this question to ian(at), no later than 20 October.

There are 40 tickets at stake.

Check out the Krudttønden website here. For the website of the That Theatre Company, click here.

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