Sunday, February 17, 2008

From the Dumpster #1: Scream! Eat! Bleed! Cry!

FROM THE DUMPSTER is a recurring series that will let you in on ideas we've had that never made it to the stage. While it's possible that a few of these will be salvaged at some point, most of them--quite simply--STINK. Feel free to heckle, steal anything you like, or offer a word or two of encouragement.

The spark for this idea came from reading about a performance by Dick Higgins called Danger Music no. 17. The score for the piece reads "Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream!," and anytime it's been performed, people have done just that--screaming as LOUDLY as possible for as LONG as possible. For a while, we were tempted to produce a week-long cycle of performances that use Danger Music no. 17 as a model. Each would be a performance of endurance based around a single action. There would be Bleed! Bleed! Bleed! Bleed! Bleed! Bleed!--in which a person drips one drop of blood at a time on the floor and walls of an all white room. Cry! Cry! Cry! Cry! Cry! Cry! would be a night of emotional breakdowns. Eat! Eat! Eat! Eat! Eat! Eat! would be a forcefeeding to the point of regurgitation. Matt came up with a way of performing Run! Run! Run! Run! Run! Run! that had the hypnotic appeal of limbs jiggling and feet rhythmically patting the ground. What else? Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! was considered. Maybe something involving haircuts. That's all I remember. Each night's show would end when either the performers had exhausted themselves to the point of collapse OR the entire audience had gone home. And as an extra special bonus, the entire cycle of shows would be hosted by one or two people who stay awake all week long. Don't Sleep! Don't Sleep! Don't Sleep! Don't Sleep! Don't Sleep! Don't Sleep!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

a question for you, dear reader

So we're spending about a year working on our next show. A couple reasons for this...
  • We received a little bit of money, so there's a little bit of pressure to make it extra special.

  • The show is a feat of astonishing organizational complexity. We've given ourselves the task of writing and rehearsing 500 different experiences, each of which will be performed no more than once during the course of the run.

If all goes according to our very tentative plan, THE FILTER will premiere at the Blue Theatre this coming October. Now I know a year isn't that long in the grand scheme of things, but I can't help but feel somewhat antsy. I like the process of making shows quite a lot, but in the end, the great bulk of my enjoyment comes from sticking things in an audience's face and seeing what happens. Which leads me to get all sentimental and think about this question: Which, if any, Rubber Repertory show would you most like to see revived in the year ahead?* Your choices are...

  • Mister Z Loves Company (a show that quite a few people still mention to us, but that not many people actually saw during its late-night, 6 performance run)

  • Inside Austin Actors: An Evening of Surgery and Childbirth videos (a show that NO ONE saw except Jason Neulander, Shannon McCormick, and a girl who used to work at Book People)


  • At Home With Dick, Pt 1.

*Why I ask: It's unlikely we'd revive something before THE FILTER opens, but it might be tempting to follow such a long journey with a slightly shorter one. And even though the show would be technically a revivival, I'm sure that the resulting production would evolve quite a bit from the source material. All the months of thinking about "what we should have done differently" may lead in some curious directions.