In The Verbatim Formula we use headphone performance to make audio testimonies that can be easily shared in any place and at any time.

To make the testimonies, young people record interviews with each other, and with adults. The recordings are chosen by the young people, edited, and loaded up onto MP3 players or iPods. A performer then listens back to the testimonies through personal headphones, and relays the original recording to an audience by paying minute attention to the words on the audio, and repeating them accurately and respectfully.

The identity of the original speaker remains anonymous, and this often means that their words can be heard with special attention. Our performances create spaces for reflection and dialogue, not defensiveness or blame.

“We shared our ideas and important things we need every day.”
Sam, 15 years old

“I think it’s really cool to be able to make them anonymous, cause then the person doesn’t feel afraid to say what they want to say.”
Kyle, 15 years old

“It makes you really listen, makes you listen in a slightly different way, makes you take a step back from what you’re expecting to hear if you like. So I think I listened better, I think I listened with a more open ear if that makes sense.”
Rash, social worker