This new work ties together my preoccupation with aging, my inquiry into sensation and my artistic shift of slowing down. This 40-minute piece creates an intimate space, sharing time and personal story, with just two people. Its unusual format offers both challenges and interesting production possibilities.
The sign on the door says, “Just come in.” The spectators walk into a performance already in motion. They are my guests. I offer them tea before inviting them to sit down at a table. I establish a clear line of civility.
The table is set with dried plant life, workbooks and other miscellaneous objects. It harkens to the kitchen table, where stories and meals are exchanged, advice asked and given, joys and heartache shared. With age, these human experiences reveal themselves to be central to our own lives and those of others.
I am fascinated with the nature of hosting. What puts my guests at ease (or not)? What are the boundaries and rules that I need to establish, either overtly or implicitly, in order to create the right ambiance for them to experience my physical and narrative choices, while staying aware of their own physical presence in time?
I tell them a story. The story is my timeline, my anchor, my structure. It is the only thing that remains the same from one performance to the next. (Please see excerpt of the text below.)
I interrupt this narrative with “escapades,” improvised visitations that emerge out of the shared space and time with my guests. These escapades are different every time. They offer subtext, metaphor, extrapolation and abstraction–the flip side to the linear tale. They might arise as a confession, interrogation or musing, a physical release or quiet dance. They are profoundly personal.
I self-produced and performed She Wanted at La Poêle Studio, over 20 weeks, between January and June 2019. Through more than 50 performances, I experienced its changing nature and footprint over time. It will continue to evolve in ways I cannot predict.