note: entire contents copyright 1998 by Larry Stark
Text Director Andrea Assof
Movement Director Stephen T. Clapp
Stage Manager Shari Krauss
Lighting& Set Design Mike Abdow
Lighting Assistant Maggie Moore
Body Paint Design Elissa Matsveda
Independence.....Stephen T. Clapp
The Other Theatre is committed more to process than production, and this piece is the result of months of workshops, experimentation, and cooperative input. Stephen T. Clapp started with a movement workshop, first finding out what kinds of movements each different body was comfortable with --- and perhaps stretching those possibilities --- in situations where any one person's movements triggered spontaneous movements from everyone else to compliment or contrast or complete the patterns. Then Andrea Assaf added workshops involved with speaking words and in similar fashion responding spontaneously to what was said.
Eventually, the group settled on the works of Adrienne Rich as text because they provided relevant contemporary material that rewarded deep study and covered a wide ranging emotional territory. Each of the five participants became the Voice (i.e. memorized) a series of poems specifically concerning Love (Tina Farrell) ,War (Ben Lambert), Motherhood (Oona Flaherty), Independence (Stephen T. Clapp), and Poetry (Andrea Assof).
But, like the workshops, the aim was not to pre-set a series of poems in specific order, but for each participant to "respond" to the situation with an appropriate poem spontaneously. In performance it looks easier than it sounds. The open awareness of every one of these five participants welds them, on the wide dance space, into one fluidly interacting whole, and their concentration sparks similar concentration from the audience. Entrance and exit figures were pre-set, and a "road-map" of ideas to be touched dictate a form, within which everyone responds in whatever ways feel appropriate. . Even the lighting for each evening is "improvised" by Mike Abdow.
And the audience is free to respond as well, to move with flow of words and ideas.
( a k a larry stark)