The question-and-answer portion of ArtsEmerson’s latest production, “How Much is Enough,” doesn’t come after the current call. The entire show revolves around questions.

Equally unconventional, performers pose the questions to the audience — not vice versa.

“We wanted to make a play out of questions, while also exploring the idea of value,” says director Melanie Joseph. “We’re looking for a way to build an opportunity for people to listen to each other.”

Rehearsals for the play had to be conducted in front of a live audience, and every night the show comes out different, what with so much depending on the insight of playgoers.

Shy folk need not worry about forced public revelation, assures Joseph: “Participation is voluntary. We’ve never had any problems, surprisingly. People have been eager to share.”


Joseph doesn’t want to risk divulging too much about the “experience” of the show, but does mention that the questions all in one way or another relate to the concept of value: “They’re silly and deep and personal and global,” she adds.

Though this will be the world premiere of “How Much is Enough,” the company behind the interactive show — the Foundry Theatre — has a history of unorthodox performance. They’ve staged work on a bus, in restaurants and yes, even a few times in “proper” venues, says Joseph.

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