Concept/Direction: Max Schumacher
Performer: Robert Wolfram
Design: Hiroko Tanahashi
Production: post theater [new york / berlin / tokyo]
Feb. 2006: HoerZu Festival, Junges Theater Bremen, Bremen,
Feb. 2006100 Grad Berlin Festival, Hebbel-am-Ufer, Berlin,
Murat Belcant teaches gCall-Center Competence | Ways to successful
A seminar for communicative people.h
many countries, phone-marketing is one of the few growing industries.
In some places, like Berlin for example, itfs the only one. Call
centers provide communication services, a work that is a typical
post-industrial employment field. Some of these services are globably
dispersed | like the American Express phone operators in India,
some are kept local. But also outside of the call center world,
most people find themselves working more over the phone.
Calling Class is a theater performance that stages a seminar on
phone communication skills. The actor Robert Wolfram plays the call
center coach Murat Belcant. In a very interactive style, the seminar
becomes frighteningly real.
The audience to the piece is approached with texts on postcards,
web-sites, program notes.
The hybrid performance-seminar exists in two formats:
I | g 1:1 Sessionh from a booth or stela
In short 1:1 sessions a single participant calls Robert / Murat
on a number indicated on a specially decorated stela. This piece
of furniture is located ideally in the lobby of a theater, or a
cafe | any public space where people hang out. A poster on that
object or explains the audience what to expect when they make the
call from a phone attached to that pillar or booth.
There are many layers to this spatial intervention: The participant
becomes a performer to others. The object ideally also works as
a sculpture, even when not used by anyone.
As a performance, this is highly attractive to every festival, since
the performer does not even need to be physically present at the
venue. The length of each conversation depends on the situation
in the lobby. It is advisable to have gice-breakersh in the lobby
who first make calls, visibly to others.
II | g1:12 Sesseionhh in a seminar room
Either on a big poster or clearly stated on post cards or program
notes, the audience learns about Calling Class. They have to reserve
by phone for their time slot. They also learn where to meet their
coach Murat. It is Murat answering these reservation calls and already
taking notes about the callerfs phone behavior. After meeting at
the appointed spot, Murat verifies the participantsf presence and
leads them to a seminar room.
The class takes place in a simply furnished, neutral seminar room.
There are name cards with the participantfs names already placed
on a long table. There are copies of educational material and pencils
Only up to 12 participants gathers to hands-on-exercises and hear
a lecture by Murat. He moderates exercises between participants and
demonstrates phone behavior. All things taught are absolutely accurate.
The audience is confused to what degree this is all fiction or fact,
and if they are in a theater piece and why they end up performing
for the group.The length of a session can be adjusted to various factors,
but should not be less than 30 minutes and not more than 1 hour. There
can be up to three sessions per evening.
Combinations / Variations
Version I and II can of course be combined within one festival / gig.
The conversations of version I can be recorded or / and aired at another
place. Also the seminar version II can be recorded on video and presented
elsewhere. It is also possible to allow audiences into the office
where Murat coaches on phone and amplify the conversation.