TRAPS: an intimate conversation in a public space was performed in parks and community centers in summer and fall, 2017.
Above photo location and credit, left to right: Tompkins Square Park by Vivian Selbo, Hudson River Park near Christopher St. by Amelie Lyons, and Abingdon Square Park by Vivian Selbo.
Traps is a solo that ranges from being stuck on a New York City subway to encounters with wildlife (especially squirrels) both in the city and upstate. Its twelve sections were written over the course of a year, from prior to the elections through summer 2017. Both domestic life and the U.S. political situation and world issues figure into the musings. The central action is seeking light in a dark time; the question remains, What to do, and how to do it? Several sections (5 through 7, and part of another) were included in the Lark’s Stages of Resistance blog.
Above, TRAPS, Seward Park, photos by Vivian Selbo
Above, TRAPS, Abingdon Square, photos by Vivian Selbo
In the performance, I talk about traps I encounter--both everyday and large scale--and wonder how to get past the obstacles that hinder us, both personally and as a society. Then I opened it up to the spectators, and facilitated an open-ended conversation about what we can do now. I wanted to hear what other people had to say as well as communicate what was on my mind.
TRAPS Hudson River Park performance above, photos by Marianne Wafer
Above TRAPS, Thompkins Square Park, photos by Vivian Selbo
Traps was performed in public spaces free of charge, made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. It also received support from the Purchase College Faculty Development Fund.
TRAPS at the Old Stone House, photos by Vivian Selbo
Excerpts from "Traps: an intimate performance in a public space." appeared on the Lark Theatre’s Stages of Resistance blog.
The full text of Traps: an intimate conversation in a public space is published in "Stages of Resistance: Theatre and Politics in the Capitalocene", NoPassport Press 2018
Since 2013, when I began performing in relational work by other artists (600 Highwaymen and Fernando Rubio) I’ve become increasingly interested in post dramatic work that happens among the public and that facilitates conversations. (See my essay, “Setting the Table,” in Audience (R)Evolution: Dispatches from the Field, TCG, 2016.)
October 22, 2018, I directed the Evergreen Cemetery Lantern Tour in Pine Plains. Photo: Robert Lyons
I did a staged reading of my work-in-progress, I.C./I See, which become Necessary Mountain, in October 2015 at Dixon Place.
Below are photos from the work-in-progress staged reading/rehearsals of I.C./I See, October 2015
Cast: Susan Hyon as Umiko Fujiwara, Rajika Puri as Kim Khan, with Hannah Mitchell and Rebecca Robertson.
Photos: Marianne Wafer
I performed my solo, Memory's Storehouse, in Tokyo in May 2014, after premiering it at Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. It was my part of Tiny Lights, a collaboration with Lizzie Olesker, which we subsequently reprised at the New Ohio in Manhattan. You can read about it in The Brooklyn Rail (see Links).
I've had exciting opportunities to perform in other artists’ work.
Performed in "Everything By My Side," by Argentine writer/director Fernando Rubio on a Hudson River pier as part of F.I.A.F./PS 122's Crossing the Line festival, September 2014, at Bard Summerscape, July 2015, and at Singapore International Festival of Arts, August 2016. (photo: Maria Baranova, 2014)
Khadijah Queen's "Non Sequitur," directed by Fiona Templeton, at New York Theatre Lab, December 2015
Performed in 600 Highwaymen's "The Record," Invisible Dog Art Center, February 2013; The Public Theatre/ Under the Radar, January 2014
(photo: Maria Baranova, 2013)
Performed in Khadijah Queen's "Non Sequitur," directed by Fiona Templeton, at New York Theatre Lab, December 2015
(photo: Paula Court, 2015)