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The Copenhagen Interpretation

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This is a process for making theatre and getting involved in live performance storytelling. It's designed to centre and prioritise accessibility and inclusivity.   It is continuously developing and will always be imperfect.   For quick access, use the World Codex links to find info about how this process works, or just click here to join us on our Discord server where you can ask us questions.   Boxes like this give tl;dr info on every page.

Opening space for everyone

The Copenhagen Interpretation is a system created by Jenifer Toksvig, designed to be more broadly accessible than traditional theatre with more flexible and diverse opportunities to get involved.   The core aim is to create transformative story-world experiences that foster connection, creativity, and personal growth. Grounded in principles of accessibility, inclusivity, and community, it seeks to connect individuals with themselves, each other, and the broader narrative of our world.   Our guiding values are to provide comfortable and supportive environments, promote understanding and empathy, and inspire positive social change through story and theatre.   This is a process of community-empowered live performance (a bit like 'playable theatre') presented across analogue, digital, and live performance platforms. And some little tiny games here and there.   It's designed to be particularly accessible for neurodiverse audiences, with a focus on autism and ADHD.   We are continuously developing it, and discovering more about where it works, and why it always will, and should be, responsive and imperfect.  

Quantum Physics

The Copenhagen Interpretation is actually a collection of views about quantum mechanics, contested by many including those who came up with it.   In essence, the theory is this: under normal circumstances, a quantum particle exists in all of its possible forms simultaneously. If it's observed by someone, it is forced to choose one state of being to present to the observer. On a different day, that same observer might see it differently, not least because the observer is now different.   Theatre is the same: if you see a play on a day when you are happy, and then see the same play on a day when you are unhappy, your experience of the play will differ.   The rules of 'fourth wall' theatre seek to suppress this. The play is presented in exactly the same way on both days, and we are silent and motionless observers in the darkness of the auditorium.   Nonetheless, our experience differs. The performers might use the same words and moves, but they also differ from day to day, so their performance differs, which also affects our experience.   The traditional architecture of both theatre buildings and theatre performances are not responsive to this.   As a method of engaging with live performance, The Copenhagen Interpretation is designed not only to respond to this, but to embrace and be powered by it.   In effect, it is theatre with no audience: we are all participants who build a world of stories for, and with, each other. Even if you are just sitting quietly and watching, you are bearing witness to the stories, which is a crucial part of the process: every story needs to be heard, and remembered, and recalled afterwards.   Although we provide a simple structure for a fictional world with a central narrative, it is a world that can hold many stories, and the core story is designed to give people something to which to bind their own stories.  


Here is a quote from Jenifer Toksvig about how storytelling is woven into this process.  
I created 'Copenhagen' because I wanted to explore those moments in life when there’s a choice, and I am looking around for cues from the people I’m with as to what choice I should make because I am autistic and have ADHD, and associated anxieties, and I feel like I have no clue how to 'human' most of the time.   Using this process is about having the opportunity to choose a moment, to slow down and explore it, and all the possible choices in that moment that different people might make. It is about exploring "The Copenhagen Interpretation" of that moment.   In essence, I am building myself a lab within which to safely experiment with existing and interacting as a human being, again and again and again. And it's a lot nicer, and more effective, to do that in the kind company of likeminded explorers.
— Jenifer Toksvig, crafter and navigator of The Copenhagen Interpretation