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Monday, October 22, 2012

You will make a difference



10/20

You will make a difference


Cut out letters saying “YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE” are strung across the entrance to the church. The audience for this evening’s performance is assembling in the narthex. At the appointed hour, flashlight holding cast members lead us in to the darkened sanctuary and the scene I saw rehearsed the other day plays out in the balcony. The characters wander and in and out wordlessly. A sense of ennui? (Or as Teddy, said, I get it...life sucks...) Finally there are some conversations and a confrontation with a daughter over the use of ecstasy. And in a search for names, a name from the witch scene in the balcony is repeated. I feel the implied connection.

balcony rehearsal
As we’re led through the opened pantry down to the basement, I can’t help but remember the Tenant again and what an incredible artistic achievement that was. We line up along a path with cast members moving, dancing, miming among us. Then they form an arc for us to pass through, as they repeat catch phrases from commercials and other bits of American pop culture. We cut off a piece of string to carry with us.

in Mc Alpin
Back in Mc Alpin, the theatre has disappeared. Cast members are holding candles and speaking monologues with various levels of intensity.  Until only one speaker is left and we’re led, singing la la la la lala to sit at table for a served vegan feast. 

Jeremy G sits at the head, like the host. We talk about how this performance grew out of his experience with and reflections on Occupy Wall Street. The questions we’re called to raise, not necessarily answer. I remember how at the beginning OWS felt like equal parts protest and performance art to me. And how when the question What’s your plan? was hurled at the front line of Occupiers, the answer came back, What’s your plan? Can we make one together? Jeremy tells me that much is improvised, changes every performance.And that one teacher told him choreography was the essential part of the performance.

We talk about what we’re trying to create. The interaction, synergy of groups that work in the  building. Openness to collaboration as intention, not collateral byproduct. 

As for me, I struggled to put it together. Until I stopped. Like the Beatles said, Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.... which I do. And meaning comes by experience. Perhaps it’s even like a ’60’s era happening, every night ending with live music, a hoe down or a feast...

On my way home, I meet Jeremy M to borrow an external hardrive to download Zeljko’s interview takes before he leaves. Late Saturday. And work ahead....






Links for Alivewire and You Will Make a Difference :






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