Any questions?

Here’s the thing:

We need you. Or, more specifically, your good ideas.

We’ve got this neato theatre project, How to Be a Human, in which young folks and their elders unite to create a handy theatrical guide to being a happy human. Topics include: falling in love, facing one’s own mortality, and our moral responsibility to one another.

So, we are going out into the world and interviewing our elders. Then, those interviews will be transformed into live theatre by some of the interviewees themselves as well as professional actors and, you know, us.

Interviews are already underway. We need great, juicy questions that will prompt great, juicy stories and get at big ideas.

What would you ask?

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Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am interested in love; it’s what is most important to me. So I often ask couples how they met. For your interviews, consider asking:
    –have you ever been in love?
    –tell me about your first love
    –have you ever been married?
    –how did you meet?
    –what made you choose that person?
    –what advice can you give about picking a partner?

  2. Also,
    How have your priorities, values, and/or perception of the world around you changed over time?

    • Whoa. These questions are so terrific. What clever humans you commenters are!

  3. How have your concepts of the following terms changed over your life:
    – Happiness, success, family, love, romance, adventure, perfect day, money, death, living life, chasing dreams, senior citizens, wisdom, “ancient” history

    What makes you happiest?
    – If you say time with family/friends, then:
    What is most important to you in a friend?
    What or whom bonds your family together?

    What are you known for?
    What do you wish you were known for?

    What was your favorite age and why? Would you give up the age you are now and your current life to go back to that age?

    What are your two greatest regrets?
    – If you had the chance to redo those regretted moments, knowing that doing so might fundamentally alter what happened next in your life, would you do it?

    If you could have been born in another time and place, when would you have chosen?

    What are you most looking forward to in the coming month? Year? Decade?

    What colloquialism from your past do you want to bring back into the mainstream?

    How old do you feel internally?

    Are you afraid of death?
    If yes, what parts specifically?

    If you believe in heaven, what is your concept of it?

    When you try to do “right,” what is your leading motivation?
    (e.g. threat of consequences, promise of reward, societal rules, internal code, right for its own sake)

    What is the nicest act someone has ever done for you? And the nicest action you’ve done for another?

    What is the worst thing someone has ever done to you? The worst thing you’ve done to another?

    Have you ever hurt someone intentionally? Why? How did you feel after?

  4. This sounds like an amazing project. And a tough order to know exactly which questions to ask! Sometimes it seems like once the conversation is started you don’t need particularly well planned questions.
    I grew up with my grandmother and I feel like a lot of our conversations that prompted interesting reminiscing started out about traditions. In particular, which holiday celebrations or cultural practices made it through the years and which petered out. This included language, religious practice, and goofy things too like dating. For whatever that’s worth. Good Luck!

    • Tradition! Tradition! (Hello, Fiddler.) That wasn’t exactly on my list and it’s a great idea, thanks!

  5. Love the blog! My question: How do you keep the spark into the golden years?


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