Join us at Unscripted: Szepty/Whispers

Left: A collage juxtaposes fragments from a family archive with fragments from the history of psychiatry. Right: a greyed out image of Robson Square with the title and dates of the event

PTC’s Unscripted series brings playwrights,
audiences, and the imagination together

An audio and text geolocation experience in partnership with The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team


Dates: Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, 2021*

*Now extending to UNSCRIPTED: Szepty/Whispers until Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021!

How does your lineage shape the language you use for mental health?
What will you find as you travel through UNSCRIPTED: Szepty/Whispers?
What’s beyond “breaking the silence”?


About UNSCRIPTED: Szepty/Whispers:


PTC’s UNSCRIPTED: Szepty/Whispers invites you to participate in a geo-located experience through an audio and text web app in development.  Using a smartphone,  you can wander unceded Coast Salish territories (in so-called Downtown Vancouver) to explore artist contributions about mental health, language, and lineage. Your feedback on the experience completes the exchange between artists and audiences.

Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue began when artist Veronique West invited seven collaborators to respond to the question: how does your lineage shape the way you communicate about mental health? The collaborators were: mia susan amir, Kagan Goh, Maya Jones, Constantin Lozitsky, Jivesh Parasram, Kendra Place, and Manuel Axel Strain. The responses could be anything – a monologue, a poem, an interview, an essay, etc. The goal was to juxtapose a multiplicity of perspectives and approaches to form, process, and content. A digital platform was created to host the responses, in collaboration with The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team, Inclusive Designer JD Derbyshire, Sound Designer David Mesiha, Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty, Deaf Interpreter Ladan Sahraei, and Production Coordinator Brian Postalian. After testing a website version at the 2021 rEvolver Festival, we are excited to now launch a “wandering” version, which uses a geolocation-based app and QR codes.

Traditional Musqueam Welcome and Conversation by Mary Point and Manuel Axel Strain.

How does it work?

During the launch week of the Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue (September 27 – October 3rd, 2021) registered audience members will receive instructions on how the web app (for the audio experience) and the accompanying QR codes (for the text experience ) work, and a map where you can find the “Whispers” (the audio and text content ). With your phone and data, you can access a Whisper and listen and/or read. You can even leave your own contribution to expand the conversation about mental health, language, and lineage.

You can experience UNSCRIPTED: Szepty/Whispers on your own time between Monday, September 27th and Sunday, October 3rd, 2021. Or join Veronique West and the Szepty/Whispers team for an in-person check-in on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 from 11 am – 4 pm PST. Your feedback form, submitted after the experience, will help the Szepty/Whispers team in their development. Support the Szepty/Whispers team in the creation of this solo listening and reading experience that connects you and the artists to the sites and each other.


Click here to register
or download our Audience Registration Form (Doc) and email it to

More Information
Full description of Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue here

Email Audience Services at for more details about the experience, accessibility considerations, and other information.

For a quick reference on what to expect, here is our demo video.

Content Warning: The audio and text contributions include references to colonization, war, genocide, child abuse, suicide, and psychiatric hospitalization. These topics are mentioned but not described at length or in detail. There is a more detailed description of ableism, depression, mania, trauma, and a parent’s incarceration.

UNSCRIPTED: Szepty/Whispers FAQ


  • How does the experience work?
    • Get the link, open by webapp on phone, follow the map given separately
    • Via Webapp:
      • Put the web link into the recommended browser (see FAQ below) and on the landing page press the “Begin” button.
      • When you enter a zone, a play button will appear on the bottom of the screen. Press play, then press the person icon, and then you can wander. 
      • as you approach the centre of the zone, the louder the audio becomes. Try to find the boundaries between Whispers where you’ll hear some cross-fading, where you’ll know there’s a new Whisper. QR codes from contributors will be scattered for you to find. Usually on poles or rails.
      • When you press the microphone icon, you have a choice to leave a voice or text recording that will be played within the zone. 
    • Via QR Code:
      • QR codes from contributors will be scattered for you to find. Usually on poles or rails. Use your phone’s camera or QR code reader to scan the QR code, which will take you to the transcription of the Whispers 
  • How long will the whole experience take?
    • Approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how many zones you explore and how you travel through them.
  • Can I access the web-app experience from home?
    • The Szepty/Whispers web-app uses geolocation, and as such requires audience members to be physically present in the space.
    • If this is a barrier, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help,
  •  When and where can I experience this?
    • It’s available from Sept 27th to Oct 3rd, in two zones located in downtown Vancouver.
    • You will receive more details about location when you register.


  • What are my accessibility options?
    • You can arrive at either of two zones via public transportation, and travel or bike around the zones to experience the whispers.
    • Our accessibility audit will be available once you register.
  • How can I get around via public transit?
    • You can take bus 5 (Downtown) to access the downtown core zone, and buses 3, 4, 7 and 14 to arrive at the next zone. However, you will have to get off the bus in order to explore the zones.
    • More details available once you register.
  • Can I get the transcript of the audio?
    • Sure, contact us at


  • Will my phone be able to handle the webapp?
    • For best results, please use an iPhone 6 or newer, or an Android phone with Android OS 9 or higher. Your phone also needs a minimum of 3GB RAM.
    • It’s highly recommended to use a Google Chrome for Android phones and Safari for iPhones for the web-app link.
  • I don’t think my phone works, can I still participate?
    • Yes! If you are available on Oct 2nd, 2021 from 11 am – 4 pm, we may have a phone available for you to borrow. In your registration form, make sure to select the option that you need a phone. We’ll email those who chose that option the process of booking a phone.
  • Help! I will need more tech support during my experience.
  • What do I need to bring, besides my phone?
    • Bring your own headphones or earphones, and outdoor gear that is weather-appropriate. 
  • I’m concerned about my privacy when using the web-app. Will my location be kept private? 
    • The web-app receives data anonymously, and tracks your location only to understand which zones you are in. Once you exit the webapp, your location is no longer tracked.

COVID-19 rules

  • Do I need to bring my vaccine passport to participate in Szepty/Whispers?
    • Self-guided: As most of the journey is outdoors and at your own pace, you do not need to bring your vaccine passport to experience the webapp and QR codes
    • Check-in day: We will not be requesting vaccine passports if you are coming in-person. However, we ask that regardless of your vaccine status, when connecting with the UNSCRIPTED team, that you wear a face mask.
  • What if I am feeling sick?
    • Please conduct a COVID-19 Self Assessment [link] and follow their guidelines. We ask that you stay home if you are feeling unwell.
  • What are the COVID rules for attending October 2nd in-person Audience Check-in?
    • Audience members will be expected to be masked and socially distanced throughout the event.

UNSCRIPTED:Szepty/Whispers is presented by Playwrights Theatre Centre in partnership with The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

PTC would like to thank Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team. We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

The project conceptualizer and The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts.Four logos: Canada Council, BC Arts Council, Canada wordmark, Cutlch Storytelling Team