Theatrically speaking, there wasn’t much to PostSecret: The Show. It consisted of three actors and a musician on the small stage, with a screen behind them that predominantly served to showcase images of postcards with secrets ranging from peeing in the shower to contemplating suicide to feelings of inadequacy. That being said, PostSecret: The Show isn’t about theatrics but about interconnectedness, about common human experiences. It merely serves as a backdrop to present what PostSecret, the project, has been doing for years. By breaking through the isolation so many people feel, both show and project remind us that we are never alone with our secrets and our pain.
The Show started with a history of PostSecret, a website that has soared in popularity since its inception over a decade ago. What began as a community art project is now a worldwide movement; PostSecret has only grown in the age of the internet, and has been a large player in disproving that social media further isolates us from one another. The Show told stories of PostSecret’s humble beginnings: of communities and projects it sparked into being, of connections it made possible, and of people it has helped over the years. Sitting in the intimate theatre of the Firehall Arts Centre felt like going back to the project’s community roots.
The second part of the show pointed the lens to the audience by inviting us to share our own secrets, either by writing them down on pink post-it notes and then putting them up on the bathroom wall or by submitting them as anonymous postcards during the intermission. When we came back to our seats, the actors read our secrets out to us. There was something wildly cathartic about putting such a deeply personal thought into words—perhaps for the first time—and then being able to anonymously experience other people’s reactions to it.
PostSecret: The Show may not provide much in terms of set or script, but the emotionality and rawness of the stories that are read over the course of the two hours might make you cry, may make you think, but will most certainly make you feel. A lot.
PostSecret: The Show runs until March 5, 2016 at the Firehall Arts Centre. For tickets and showtimes, visit firehallartscentre.ca.
For more information about the PostSecret project, visit postsecret.com.