is here | she
MISSING YOU / MEREDITH GLISSON
To my family
Far and near
no longer and to become.
A Table of Contents Or I’d Rather Call
HOME A Leaving From and Returning To
Hello. Can You Help Me? Or Can I Help You? 9 Questions Unanswered 10 Introduction 11-13 Giving Permission 14 What is it? Introducing the Work of Reference 15 About Missing You Here with Me: Longing for a Group 17 The Yous: Including You 18 Long Distance Calls: When You’re There But Not Really There 20-23 Early Conversations: There’s a First For Everything 25 I for an I: Self-Interview 27-28 First Hangout Chats with Michelle Mola and appearances with Sara Procopio 29-32 First Questions posed by Goran Sergej Pristaš 34-35 Theories on Simple Words like Love 36 Resistance: Going Underneath the Illusion 37-42 Scale: Legacy of a Heroine 43-48 Perception: The Bystander’s Viewpoint 49 Logic: The Codes and Systems of Watching Reality and TV 50-51 Invisible Presence: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder or Frustrated 53-63 Space: The Living Room and The Nowhere aka The Waiting Room 64-69 A Process Needs Work: Devising a Script and Choreography Simultaneously 71 The Seed: The Beach Story 72 Approaches that Make a Work Work 75 Embodied Practices 77-84 Written Practices 84 Spoken Practices 87 A Palpable Manuscript 89-115 Goodbye. How do You Feel About Endings? Or Should I Say Beginnings? 117 Bibliography 120 Photo / Image Credits 121-123
HELLO. CAN YOU HELP ME? OR CAN I HELP YOU?
Questions Unanswered You know when you want to ask something but you donâ€™t know where to start or where to go because itâ€™s all entangled? Yeah. That feeling. Do I want to go left or right or is the TV better there or here? I end up standing still. This is my attempt at not standing still. This is an effort to try things out. I can always repaint or cover it with wallpaper.
1. Research Presentation at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Photo
Introduction Cataloging Messes How do you make sense, when you think you make sense but nobody else gets it? You read, you converse with others, you have experiences and it all interweaves together in a way that you start believing that you’re on to something. My friend told me recently, “You have to catalog that mess, don’t make more of a mess.” I take his advice here in this publication. This is an attempt to organize the mess that develops when making a work. I would like to think that this publication is the insider’s look of making a manuscript while creating a work. It is the intimate portraits of the author and the collaborators of this project relating themselves to the drama and questions of the outside world within an artistic practice.
Influences of Time and Events It is also important to consider the timeline of organizing such a mess. From the very start of this research, I began to archive my materials whether that was through video footage, notes, quotes from books or visual references. I kept gathering and gathering until I had this mess. About a year after, I started collecting all these materials for this publication in the middle of making the work, is here | she. Even when drafting this introduction, I didn’t have this title and the work wasn’t nearly complete. I negotiated working backwards and forwards, making edits and deletes while seeing how the archives of my research were influencing my decisions at the present moment. This process helped me track displacement within my materials in order to locate them in relation to one another that made sense. It gave focus to the tiniest details that changed my thinking and altered the project’s artistic course. The publication became as important as the actual performance work.
Research is Still Valid This pursuit of holding on to these materials and documenting them, protests that research is still valid. It is an accumulative set of actions and thoughts towards poeisis – the becoming of a work. It archives the several laborious (and usually undocumented) efforts that accrue, and should be valued as $uch to the investment of what time and space can give to a work. This is my testament to say that research is crucial and without it the work greatly suffers – the spectator can see that there isn’t anything there. It is a step away from only talking about product, the performance work, but more about the everyday activities that occur when consciously absorbed by a work. It is a documentation of love because even though the process is tiresomely difficult and time consuming; the pleasure from such a process and the relationships you develop along the way - still exceeds it all.
Variations in Search of Absences When I started the process of re-examining my research, I began to understand how my attempts at answering questions resulted in different variations. The more I investigated these variations the deeper my understanding of the work grew. I quickly understood how invisibility played a part in this profound understanding, where by repeating in the quest of what was absent, I arrived closer to the actual essence of what I was trying to express. !11
…The depth of the soul also hints that visibilities-what is only natural-are never enough for the soul. It desires to go beyond, to go ever inward and deeper. Why? This too Heraclitus answers, saying, “Invisible connection is stronger than visible.” To arrive at the basic structure of things we must go into their darkness. Again, why? Because, says Heraclitus, “The real constitution of each thing is accustomed to hide itself,” which has also been translated: “Nature loves to hide.” …Depth dimension is the only one that can penetrate to what is hidden; and since only what is hidden is true nature of all things, including nature itself, then only the way of soul can lead to true insight. Heraclitus suggests that true equals deep, and he is opening the way or a psychological hermeneutic, a viewpoint of soul toward all things. (Hillman, 1979, p. 26)
2. Meredith Glisson improvising on Michelle Anderson’s Farm, Cornwall, 2014. Video still
Reality Turns into Drama It is amazing to me how so much is hidden and how interconnected everything is. While being in the process, I became often surprised by others from their responses to propositions and conversations without them necessarily knowing the insides and outs of the project. Overtime some of these responses evolved into the actual material for the work whether that was text-based, the conversational style or connecting narratives. Somehow through difference there was a relatable ground to stand on because of this mutual understanding of what direction we were heading. It seemed that we were all going towards the same thing but had come from different places. We were listening to where the research was taking us, rather shoving the research into something we already knew.
This publication includes those who were involved in my research practice and project, and also to those who contributed from its peripheries. With deepest gratitude, I thank you all.
3. Hidden entrance into the Dramaturgy Department at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Zagreb, 2015. Photo
4. Meredith Glisson improvising on Michelle Anderson’s Farm, Cornwall, 2014. Video stills by Michelle Anderson
Giving Permission There was girl, who stood in the background among the darkness, observing quietly the feud. She just wanted them to love each other but they constantly wrestled in her periphery. Moments of tension would swell and one day she would get the courage to speak. !14
What is it? Introducing the Work of Reference IS HERE | SHE is a choreographed performance work consisting of three female figures that shift from individually representing themselves to being understood as the same person. Through this method of transference the three female figures come to negotiate who they are not, in order to understand their identity through their own absence. The loss of self is re-examined through the perspective of the other, influencing how we can change in recognizing ourselves. It is not however an individual undertaking, but is gained by putting several parts together; several people together with the goal of putting ourselves, in this case the female figure, back together. The work aspires to actively engage audiences at the point where they experience the sensation of being touched, a sensation that motivates a change in their actions and perceptions of themselves and their surroundings. This enables the spectator to become more aware of how we can feel in certain circumstances, which in turn can encourage a compassionate outlook on the choices that inform how others decide to live in this world. As a choreographer, I try to give form to this fragmented female figure in her attempt to defy an environment that is conspiring to erase her. The constant effort of re-composition within the work motivates an invincible flow that recharges her state of being. The female figure is resistant and steadily negotiates her position amongst an environment that is collapsing before her. How can she hold up the roof of her own house only with her arms or, as it gets heavier, with her back? She tries to avoid the tumbling elements that cross her path whilst taking care of the peeling wallpaper that exposes her true state. She finally says no, when it is so easy just to say yes. It is this polarity of tension - the push and pull not only between figures but also in their relationship to their environments that I am interested in. My attention is drawn more to getting out of something than being put into something. It is much easier to try to avoid or escape limitations than to confront them.
!15 5. Meredith Glisson and Yigit Daldikler improvising at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Photo by Ă–zlemÂ Ĺžen
6. Meredith Glisson and Yigit Daldikler improvising at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Photo by Özlem Şen
About Missing You Here with Me: Longing for a Group Missing You is a phrase used as a name for the authorship of such related work.
If I were to call myself something would it be Missing You?
Instead of focusing on the I, how about the You. The You who is spectating, performing and making.
I would be lost without You. And too, does the work even exist without You?
Why do You do anything at all, if there is not something missing inside of You?
How could all of us I’s and You’s who are longing, come together for such an encounter?
We are Missing You just as You are missing us or I.
We are the Missing You and we are Missing You here and now.
7. Gena Rowlands in Opening Night, 1977. Film Still by John Cassavetes
The Yous: Including You
(Alphabetical Order By First Name)
Audrey Ridenour………………………………………………………………………………………..Grandmother Barabara Glisson……………………………………………………………………………………………….Mother Bianca Rutigliano……………………………………………………….Performer, New-Found Friend, Katherine Boyan Manchev…………………………………………………………….…MA SoDA Professor at HZT - Berlin Center for Performance Research…………………………………………………..…Performance Space, Staff Constanze Schellow…………………………………………………………MA SoDA Supervisor at HZT - Berlin Coreysha Stone…………………………………………………………………………………..….Halena’s Mother David Maloney………………………………………………………………………………..The Guy Bianca Likes Donna Faye Burchfield…………………………………………………………………..…Lifetime Mentor, Friend Douglas Becker………………………………………………………………………….…A Good Listener, Friend Emily Harnett……………………………………………………..Falmouth University Colleague, Healer, Friend Enrico Wey……………………………………………………………………….…HZT – Berlin Colleague, Friend Goran Sergej Pristas…………………………………………..…Dramaturgy Professor at University of Zagreb Halena Stone…………………………………………………………………………………………Performer, Lady Ian Douglas……………………………………………………………………………………………..Photographer Jasna Zmak…………………………………………………..……Dramaturgy Professor at University of Zagreb Jerome Fletcher……………………………………………………….…MFA Coordinator at Falmouth University Jesse Tendler………………………………………………………………………………………..….Videographer Johnny Gasper……………………………………………………………………………………Helper at the show June Streckfus…………………………………………………………………………………….……….Godmother Laurence Wallace……………………………………………………………………….Helper at the show, Friend Lulu Obermayer…………………………………………..……HZT – Berlin Colleague, Helper at Show, Friend Meredith Glisson………………………………………………………Choreographer, Director, Performer, Hope Michelle Anderson……………………………………..…Falmouth University Colleague, Farm Owner, Friend Michelle Mola……………………………………………………………………………..Former Katherine, Friend Nikolina Pristas…………………………………………………Choreography Professor at University of Zagreb Özlem Şen………………………………………………………………………..Photographer and Videographer Ric Allsopp……………………………………………………………..….MFA Supervisor at Falmouth University Roarke Menzies………………………………………………………………..Music and Sound Designer, Friend Sara Procopio………………………………………………………………………………..Helper at Show, Friend Sarah Wellings………………………………………………………………………………..UK Land Lady, Friend Siobhan Humston…………………………………………………………Falmouth University Colleague, Friend Sophia New……………………………………………………………………MA SoDA Professor at HZT – Berlin Una Bauer…………………………………………………..…Politics and Art Professor at University of Zagreb Will Griffith…………………………………………………………………………….………………….Set Designer You…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..You Yigit Daldikler………………………………………………………………………………….HZT-Berlin Colleague Zack Winokur…………………………………………………………………Quoted Friend About ‘Mess’, Friend !18
LONG DISTANCE CALLS: WHEN YOU’RE THERE BUT NOT REALLY THERE The scene takes place late in October between Meredith’s apartment in Zagreb and Bianca’s apartment in Brooklyn. Meredith and Bianca have a long-distanced friendship. Their conversation is over Skype. Meredith is sitting up in her bed under the covers with her laptop on her lap. It’s nighttime there (she is six hours ahead). Bianca is sitting on her couch, holding her camera phone. It is midday her time. MEREDITH Hey Bianca! BIANCA Hey Mere. What’s going on? MEREDITH I wanted to ask you some questions about the project. I met with my professor last Friday. She wants me to send some writing by next weekend before I meet with her on Tuesday, Nov 3rd. I'm sure you’re busy but wanted to also include some of your entries from your journals. You know. Whatever you feel comfortable doing. They can be however short or long, in any form you want. You also don't have to answer all of them now or if there is something you want to include or write about, go for it. I am going to write some on my own too. You know. Relating to what I asked you and also about how our friendship developed. BIANCA Ok cool. (Pause.) Go for it. MEREDITH Now? BIANCA Yeah, I have some time before I have to go work at the bar. MEREDITH Ok. (Pause.) What does it mean to be a performer? You know. A good team? Dependable collaborator? (Pause.) Someone that makes a good friend? A good sister? (Pause.) She smiles. Bianca smiles and then starts concentrating. She adjusts her sitting position. She pauses. She rubs her eyes with her fingers. She pauses again this time for longer. BIANCA Ok. I think this could be the hardest question you could ask. What makes a good performer, collaborator. This means I have to answer it. I’m having a hard time finding the words. She rubs her eyes again with her fingers. So far, what I’ve come up with is that… ! 0 2 (Pause.) …to be a good performer…
(Pause.) …you have to be… (Pause.) …grounded. She looks down. Her hand that was rubbing her eyes, sharply moves downward. I have no other way of saying it. But um… but also when you’re collaborating with somebody, you sort of have to let go… She tosses her hand away from herself. of… (Pause.) …knowing everything… She tosses her hand again. …and just say ‘yes’ to a lot of things and… (Pause.) …go with it. She makes a sharp gesture with her hand. She turns her phone to reveal David who is sitting on the couch with her. His arm is over the couch behind Bianca. This is David. That guy, that I told you that I like now. David waves to the camera phone. He smiles. I think he has a better answer. He is also a performer of sorts. David looks in the distance. David turns to look at Bianca when she speaks. What does it mean to be a good performer or collaborator? DAVID He looks back into the distance and clears his throat. I think that… (Pause.) …there needs to be a study of one’s relationship to one’s body… (Pause.) …and there needs to be some… (Pause.) …umm… there needs to be almost an enthusiasm for um… (Pause.) …for not knowing what... (Pause.) …what is coming or what um… (Pause.) …can be done. And I think in that kind of space of an educated relationship to your physical self and a… (Pause.) …another kind of relationship to an interest in knowing… (Pause.) …um there can be uh… (Pause.) …you know work can be done. And I think with collaboration it’s a similar thing. I think there has to be uh… (Pause.) He clears his throat. …uh kind of a holding of a wish to be um… (Pause.) …to be in, to be of, in service to something. And I guess generally that’s a group or a team or a project or a goal but um again if there’s uh again a kind of… !21 (Pause.) …you know
He nods. …finding of the pleasure in being of service to something other than oneself and the ego… then you can uh… He shakes his head. …then that changes the dynamic and immediately becomes… (Pause.) …it opens things up… (Pause.) …to uh creativity and exploration. And fun. He turns and looks at Bianca. Roarke calls in by cell phone with no video. MEREDITH Bianca. It’s Roarke calling. BIANCA No problem. Talk to you later, Mere. MEREDITH Ok! Nice to meet you, David. Bye. BIANCA AND DAVID Bye. Bianca and David wave. MEREDITH Roarke? You there? ROARKE Yeah. Hey Mere. MEREDITH Hi. I was just on the phone with Bianca. ROARKE Cool. You want me to call you back? MEREDITH No, no. We just hung up. All good. ROARKE Ok, cool. MEREDITH Yeah, so I was just asking her some questions like what I had talked to you about before. ROARKE Yeah. MEREDITH Yeah…
(Pause.) so… (Pause.) …in terms of a sound designer working in performance, I have some questions that I have been thinking about as a choreographer or a director. Honestly, I don’t know what to call myself. I like freeze when someone asks me this. I don’t know what to do. I guess I have trouble with this labeling of roles. (Pause.) Am I a choreographer? A director? I kind of like the word motivator. Anyway… (Pause.) …how would you describe… name what you do or what you are? ROARKE Ok right. (Pause.) Well… of course it depends entirely on what, exactly am I doing within the context of a given project. In a broad sense, I think of myself as… (Pause.) …an artist working primarily in the context of performance, music and sound. (Pause.) In the context of a project such as this, where I'm brought in as a specialist with a certain role to fulfill… (Pause.) I generally like to be as clear and frank as possible… (Pause.) …with the understanding that, of course, the job title isn't necessarily going to describe every single bit of collaborative exchange that occurs. In this case… (Pause.) …given what we've talked about, I'd use terms like "music and sound design by" or "composer and sound designer." (Pause.) As for your title… (Pause.) …in my experience, when you're a self-producing artist there's no amount of names or titles you can give yourself that will capture all of the work… (Pause.) …decision-making and responsibilities you end up undertaking. Ultimately Mere, these words… terms… (Pause.) …titles are all tools. I think they're most useful to you, as well as to others, when they point out how you'd like to represent yourself… (Pause.) …you know, rather than every detail of what you did. MEREDITH Yeah. That makes sense to me. I feel like I alter my title or position depending on who I am talking to or what the context is. It’s the same when I talk about contemporary dance in general to people that aren’t in that specific community. (Pause.) Ok, Roarke. I gotta go, but thank you. Let’s set-up a time soon for when I get back to the U.S. so we can meet. ROARKE Sounds good, Mere. Bye. MEREDITH Bye.
EARLY CONVERSATIONS: THEREâ€™S A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING
8. Meredith Glisson improvising on Michelle Anderson’s Farm, Cornwall, 2014. Video stills
I for an I: Self-Interview Hello Meredith.
What are the major themes of your work as a whole and also on the specific project you are working on now?
I believe observing people in space and time inspires my major themes; the situations they encounter, the obstacles or realities they have to face, the decisions they make in certain situations. It is fascinating to me, to observe how people react. I also take a lot of influences from my own experiences, what I felt in a certain circumstance, what was that encounter like with that person or within that particular space and time. I am really sensitive to my surroundings; to the people, objects, history and environment that is all around me. Sometimes I am in great awe and feel very free and sometimes I feel really oppressed.
My mind is a sharp archive of randomness. I can remember what someone wore 5 years ago. I can decipher without looking whether it is my mom or dad who is coming down the stairs by the rhythm of their footsteps. The changing demeanor of a student on a bad day vs. a good day. A sentence that someone told me and how they said it. These moments replay in my mind and they stick with me. I embody them and take them on. I try to negotiate all these influences in one given space and time while also dealing with what came before and what will come after. I think this interpretive ability is my kind of intellectuality where I can culture a certain energy in the room, physicalize how someone felt or vividly remember if the walls were painted or wallpapered.
Anyway enough of that… I could go on for hours. Everything is valid. I just want to include it all. You know be everything, do everything like what my mother tries to do when really I end up maybe doing nothing. I guess that is the Libra in me- the indecisive lady. The one everyone can’t stand at restaurants. Anne Bogart would be upset with me. She would say be violent and make a decision. You know in her book. God, I love that book. That was an important one for me. But these days Anne Bogart isn’t considered relevant in contemporary education. She seems old, too traditional but I like that in some cases. I guess I’m an old soul, another Libra quality.
Ok back to the question… see why it takes me ages to do anything.
Stay on task, Meredith. You are almost out of time.
Ok, sorry. I’m focused. I’m the most focused and dedicated person you’ll meet, it just takes me longer. In order to be clear with you, I have to really trust you to have the confidence in what I am saying. I’m shy at first. But I want this badly, whatever this is. I just know I’m not there yet. I work really hard. Ok anyway…
My current project, which honestly, I keep having these feelings that when describing it to people, they look at me like I’m this silly girl with this unimportant idea. I feel rushed by their lack of interest and hurry up my spiel. They’ll let me talk for awhile but it seems like I go in circles. It’s important to me, yes its complicated but I need someone who cares, who I can have a real conversation with. Who I feel respects me and allows time to pass. Someone to jam with rather than someone looking back at me with oddity. That’s what the piece is about. The woman coming out from the dark background and demanding her appearance to be with others. So the project that I am working on, is a metaphor of three female figures. One woman, her name is Hope, is the visible figure in the space. She is also with the child whose name is Lady. I imagine them inhabiting this living room. Hope is trying to figure out her existence all day long, troubled by what she watches on TV, she is determined to find this missing thing within her. Lady who could go from being perceived as a child (which
she is) to also an old woman (depending how I dress her and how she moves), goes in between these ideas of visible and invisible perception. Meaning there are times the audience would notice her in the space and then there would be times where she would be playing in the corner like little girls do and she becomes part of the background or scene if you will. You know just like how adults forget that the child is in the room or they think the old person can’t hear what they are saying. Then there is Katherine. Here name I took from the character in the English Patient movie who gets left in a cave to die because her man couldn’t make it in time. Her name used to be Helen but my friend 7 thought that wouldn’t be too politically correct since before I was working with my characters !2being blind and deaf. Anyway… she is behind this screen, which represents a wall, this divider. Hope and Katherine start communicating with the wall between them. They dream of being together at the
beach where they used to be so happy. Finally Katherine undermines the partition and crawls underneath to save her own self. The suspense builds and she says, “Here I am!” There is this talk of a key that an old lady finds for them at the beach. Katherine has the key, which unlocks everything and the curtain (which is the illusion for the partition) drops. Hope realizes that they were in the same room all along relating to the metaphor of Hope’s missing self, which was already within her. Now, the female figures have to live together and experience what that really means. So as you can see I really need a dramaturge. I can usually be this for others but can’t help own myself.
Meredith: What were some of the influences that got you to think up this narrative?
Meredith: Well, when I talk about this to someone they usually say, “that sounds like a Samuel Beckett play.” I’ve always wanted to read his plays but haven’t had a chance yet. I’m a big fan of Maguy Marin and she references him a lot in her work. I would say that I started creating this narrative from my last work. It was a solo based oﬀ of Lady Anne’s monologue in Shakespeare’s Richard III. This idea of loss; loosing someone, then loosing your sense of self and trying to survive somehow in these tragic circumstances, was and still is an important theme for me. I started reworking this piece to make it longer and these themes of the wall and shadows became introduced. The wall was a big symbol for me at the time. I felt like I was encountering a lot of them. These blocks in my road, these “No’s” to my face. I wanted to break it down and find an alternative place to be. But I asked myself if I escaped this state of limitation would I just position myself in another confinement? Where is this freedom of well-being, this other half? This lost self. This twin, this sister, mother or little girl that is willing to transition into someone she might not even recognize. What does it mean to displace yourself? And that my friend, is an act of courage. That’s when you dive into that pool even though its too deep and you can’t swim or you hop on that train not knowing where you’ll end up. Somehow you deal with it because you have to.
Meredith: That seems like a lot of eﬀort. Why do all this?
Meredith: It’s a necessity and it’s existential for me. I make choices and then I have to act upon them. Sometimes it’s a bad choice and I’m hanging on by my fingernails and sometimes its indescribably amazing. It makes me feel alive. Its like in Grace Ellen Barkley’s piece This door is too small for a bear, when this woman does this dance and then jumps and yells “I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive does a summersault I’m alive! I remember this, I relate to this. I’ve had this feeling. It’s great. So by taking real-life situations (real feelings because feelings are facts according to Yvonne Rainer) I am able to process an understanding of the circumstances in which people live in in this world. I encircle my practice and theories in a creative process where by re-enacting these situations, putting them next to one another, working with others, forcing myself to be the other person in the situation and performing them is a way to process and confront these events and feelings. By being a person who doesn’t understand every experience in the world, I reflect on these situations that are confusing to me in order to find meaning. At times this becomes diﬃcult when these circumstances are complex and not always easily identifiable, therefore I try my best to examine these experiences and observations from diﬀerent angles to gain an overview and make my own opinions. It is by processing and putting these experiences in relation, whether that be through my artwork or teaching, that one can find common ground. To know oneself by another. To come together and be a part of something gives newfound confidence. To give a hand when someone is on the ground. To believe in someone and they believe in you back. I think I’m always trying to feel a part of something. To know where to go in order to feel included and have a sense of purpose- a sense of being complete. To matter and I think that is something that we all share and reach for.
First Hangout Chats and Emails with Michelle Mola and appearances of Sara Procopio August 18, 2014 michelle.mola: hi mereglisson: hey wait a sec michelle.mola: ok mereglisson: on phone with sara michelle.mola: try to chat me when youre done mereglisson: calling you October 16, 2014 mereglisson: you online girl? michelle.mola: I’m in the bathtub mereglisson: like the good ol’ days. xo mereglisson: not sure what happened. better get to bed i guess. was reading peggy phelan’s presence of body. she talks about death in a very beautiful way. love you like crazy. xo michelle.mola: Love you like xo mereglisson: Trisha Brown’s Orfeo: Two Takes on Double Endings – Peggy Phelan 'Brown says, "while i was making the dance my father died somewhere between these two movements." The sentence stayed with me for a long time. I was amazed by the phrase, "my father died somewhere." Death is an event of both temporal and spatial location. It occurs "somewhere" outside linguistic and kinesthetic reckoning. It can obliterate memory; it can spur memory. It often divides mourners' lives into before and after. The schism fuels the desire to map that "somewhere," for only rarely do events in the external biological world coincide with events in the internal psychic world.' - Peggy Phelan (Lepecki, 2004, p. 17) love you and thanks for the chat. xo February 27, 2015 mereglisson: you there? April 16, 2015 michelle.mola: thinking of you so muc. we need to chat. cant talk now i have to run. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox mereglisson: omg. can’t wait to talk to you. missing you. here in berlin until mid july. hope all is well. xoxoxo May 14, 2015 michelle.mola: I’ve returned to life. Let’s talk soon. Miss u mereglisson: omg. i think i just thought about you at the exact time. i’m here!
michelle.mola: I’m on my cell will be home in thirty min
mereglisson: k. i’m home. xo. can’t wait
J u n e 2 4 , 2015
mereglisson: sorry missed you. new version
Thereâ€™s fear in here.
9. TV Static, 2015. Video still
June 16, 2015 mereglisson: perfect island studio. xo. thoughts… what if lady was both our consciousness? a temporal splitting… way of looking backwards and forwards. Perceived as young and old. Virginia Woolf’s Mark on the Wall. The episodic- the thing that comes in between. the chorus. the dance- only happens when paying attention to something else.
michelle.mola: I’ll find out if we can rehearse here
June 17, 2015 mereglisson: Thank you for all your thoughts… it is going to take me a bit to reply back… They are good suggestions and thoughts to ponder… The next couple of days are busy with school and trying to finish my essay… will be in touch soon. Finding out new discoveries and very excited about this project! Lots of love M
michelle.mola: Do you have a synopsis?
michelle.mola: Great to read this. Thanks. It seems like this writing is pointing out qualities about woolf’s work and some other people's work that demand the participation of the "viewer" be slightly diﬀerent than the usual. Like woolf’s readers have to get on board with her stream of consciousness style of writing or they won't have a ducking clue what she is talking about. They have to go for the ride and that's maybe why she is so excitingly quotable to this day because her writing is like mining for flecks of gold. Same with the other artist who suggests that the viewer read words like music notes dancing on a page. That's cool. I don't yet know how you want these concepts to translate to choreography/ performance. And that's why I'm excited to see how you get there. Another thing I'm thinking about from this writing is how writers use words to communicate while the performance artists use length duration etc. but what is funny to me is the performing artist quoted says mostly people just hang on to his work for those tropes like length duration. Even my last email was like "why not make a duet every day for six months" and squash it into one evening. Cause all that stuﬀ is tangible for an audience.
!31 10. TV Static, 2015. Video stills
June 19, 2015 michelle.mola: For some reason I feel inspired to play Andy Warhol but like his personality is trapped in my body. See attachment.
michelle.mola: i also know a friend of raoul i think her name is nia. she is amazing and really talented.
mereglisson: exactly. BIG LOVE. i think Roarke should do the music. i've made a budget for this. and for you and for john... thinking of Lady. How this number 3 is important to me but maybe Lady is represented in another way like you said... or have been really thinking about working with a child. like Raoul. thinking of the chorus a lot - this is episodic to me. (also working in placing short situations/ scenes up against another like in montage or assemblage) back to the chorus. the prosody. we did a workshop on the prosody this week, very interesting. i think lady is the indescribable, the everything (the all), the blur... she is the chorus - the all, all of us in one.... more on this later... have to get back. but thinking about a child. time passing and looking back... the dramatic shifts in size especially with shadow. the innocence. the old with past experience. “accesses a form of perceiving backwards” “temporal-splitting at the heart of all modernism.” happy reading and lots of love! Mere
michelle.mola: but like this is new york so there are kid actors eager to work all over. so dream of what the piece wants/needs and we will find it. also logan teaches ballet at a ritzy school on UES so she probably knows some little girls who would be amazing. i can also reach out to kids who go to SAB. i've done it before. cant wait ot learn about prosody ive never heard that before.
mereglisson: amazing ideas. what is SAB? I'll reach out to Logan too. Nia also sounds great. yes, prosody is amazing. xo
michelle.mola: school of american ballet
mereglisson: got it. cool.
June 28, 2015 saraprocopio: Leslie saw this performance and said it was gorgeous and touching. Reading the review and seeing the images made me think of you.
June 29, 2015 mereglisson: Thanks so much for sending this! Loved reading it and yes was close to what I am working on... Apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Hope all is good with you! Lots of Love, Mere
mereglisson: Look at the link Sara sent me. Interesante!
michelle.mola: Nice. This is a good example of what we could achieve one day, no? Also I thought the other night about how lady could be played by a puppet.
October 20, 2015 mereglisson: Miss + Love
michelle.mola: Love u too. I was just thinking of you when I got this. xoxo mereglisson: i had a feeling you would be. i got this urge and thought we must be connecting on another level! on another note. want to talk to you and ask your participation in this booklet I am making to go along with my project. I wanted to include you- our early conversations etc this idea of you as the dramaturge, the friend, the person who questions and listens, proposes. xoxoxo love you dear friend.
michelle.mola: Of course!
October 21, 2015
11. Meredith Glisson improvising at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Photo by Özlem Şen
First Questions in Dramaturgy and Performance Class posed by Goran Sergej Pristaš October 12, 2015 Why are you doing it right now? I came to a standpoint in February 2014, where everything I knew, to be, was changing. I had become too comfortable with my own habits of being that it became a disadvantage. I was stuck. I felt like I was running out of knowledge to give my students and I hadn’t taken the time to make anything on my own through a creative process. I wanted to go back into my practice and allow time for the urgencies of expressing ideas through an extensive research. There was this desire to understand how my ideas accumulated and entangled into critical theories and references of influence. I also wanted to expand in knowing different people and places that were using contemporary practices for purposes of artistic expression and labor. I was interested in the multiple ways of making work, creating work that was radical and revolutionary and what circumstances were needed to achieve in producing such a work. In this effort to become bigger, it was really about this sense of re-connecting to the world again where I could reclaim my active attentiveness of my being with others.
Why are you doing it the way you do it? I never could really pin down my work and label it with a certain approach, even though I’m sure it has one. It’s hard for me to generalize my work and put it into the limited contexts of what one thinks of when referring to dance, theatre or performance. I wish one’s mind went to alternative connotations in understanding such approaches and their unstable states of being. I find it’s hard to define, especially in this contemporary time of complex relations, but I applaud it and embrace its uncertainty. I remember the lecture given by Jacques Rancière recently at the Academy, where he advised not to think of the arts from an interdisciplinary perspective (meshing these disciplines together) but rather to challenge their peripheries. So, I will try to go with his advice… I come from a dance background where I am comfortable in the creative approaches of choreography but the dance, as a modality itself, is not enough for me. I started introducing concepts of theatrics into my work where I wanted to include the actuality of the whole bodymeaning how does the different states of being shift and disrupt the realities of a particular body- a person? I wanted to acknowledge the sensitivities of specific people in relation to their own acquired circumstances. How could I merge this receptive and everyday body that is confronting the world to the physical body that dances? I wanted to focus on bodies that were intuitive and reactionary to the situations they found themselves in. I came to enjoy theatrics as a way to work through the processes of understanding the thoughts, feelings and choices one goes through when under the pressures of situations that are limiting. I started to explore how interrupting the dancing body with obstacles, codes of gesture, symbolism and repetition of habits could comment on the illusions of reality. This led me to play with the very forms of theatrics and its illusions of make-believe to communicate that there is a short distance from this act of performing to the actual feelings the performer is experiencing in present time. By closing in on the gap between reality and the real, I hope to !34 comment that these distances are also considered in relation to the spectator. I would like to present in my work that the spectator’s role is to reflect more closely at oneself and does not have the opportunity to hide behind the shield of disbelief or avoidance. The spectator is just
have the opportunity to hide behind the shield of disbelief or avoidance. The spectator is just as receptive and reflective in their whole body as the performer. I believe that dance with theatrics is a way for an individual to confront and recognize the true self; coming to terms with all the good and the bad, where alternative ways of being and positioning can take life in these complicated contexts.
THEORIES ON SIMPLE WORDS LIKE LOVE
Resistance: Going Underneath the Illusion ...To say that it is ambiguous is to assert that its meaning is never fixed, that it must be constantly won. (Beauvoir 1976: 129)
12. Set-Design Mock-up, 2015. Digital Drawing by Will Griffith
In a small video online Trinh T. Minh-ha discusses her term â€˜boundary event.â€™ She talks about how there is this notion of a wall all around the world, which is erected when there is a division that arises. It is a boundary usually with negative connotations that separates in order to stop people from moving. She discusses that the problems are still not solved even when the partitions are raised, which encourages the people to challenge the wall. They can defy it by digging deeper to undermine the foundation of the wall or they can think of it as something temporal. Whether one thinks of the partition as a material or time, they have encountered an impasse, and this becomes a passage leading one elsewhere. So I have tried to incorporate these ideas into the main principles of this work, where the female figure refuses this notion of division- an entrapment whether it is physical or emotional. By confronting these limitations, she starts to question how she arrived at such a place and how she can change her own circumstances to achieve a better state of being.
13. Berlin Wall, Berlin, 2015. Photo
14. Side of Building, Berlin, 2015. Photo
15. Meredith Glisson improvising, Cornwall, 2014. Video still
This work suggests a constant giving birth to the refusal of a cooperation that diminishes the self. The performer tries to break out of her own containment, her skin if you will. Her muscles flex and her teeth grit as she resists. She even ducks and moves out of the way to dodge the obstacles that continuously come at her, while another woman is trapped behind a wall confined by her own thoughts. Itâ€™s when she finally makes a decision and stops questioning herself that she finds a way out â€“ by crawling underneath the illusion of a wall, which is only a cloth of fabric. As one woman physically held up the space collapsing before her, the other defied the illusions in her mind. After they finally meet one another, they understand that they are not alone in their struggle to persist. They begin to live within the debris and re-arrange the room, as women do, to meet their desires of living in a bigger space.
16. Roaming by Carrie Mae Weems, 2006. Digital Image
A Survival Dictionary
17. Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist, 2009. Film by Lars von Trier
Build- Constructing to reach stability. Collapse- The falling apart. When the bottom is wiped out and the stack gets disrupted. The folding in. Encounter- The meeting. An unexpected chance of coming together. The beginning of change through an exchange. Impasse- What initiates the alternative route to somewhere else you did not think of. Makes known the constraints of a place, time or situation. Working backgrounds. Power- to have the ability or strength. A force that drives and stirs. The chance to do something good. Obstacle- Something in the way. May involve moving something, going under or over, jumping, climbing, strategizing, unlocking, removing, opening, quick footwork. A disturbance. Survival- The necessity to do something. Time is of an issue. Intuitive decision-making. Using what your surroundings offer you. Holding on. Asking for help. There is no mistake. Suspense- An endless climax. The active waiting and forgotten breath. The outcome of tension building up. The act of hanging on. Time has extended and motion is long. Resistance- An action after questioning. A survival action. A struggling force. Silence for a reason. The action of standing. A long fight. Resonance- The center beaming and living. The bouncing back from one point to another. Visual vibrations. When a feeling exchanges. The act of listening. Revolution- A sudden change that many people agree on. Change produced by movement. Transcendence- To go beyond oneself. To forget it all. To become bigger and lighter. To make sense of it all or to be in touch with oneself in a moment that is recognizable.
18. Meredith Glisson and Halena Stone in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
Scale: The Legacy of a Heroine How do I become bigger â€“ be seen and heard? What are my expectations of this moment when I achieve such a state? Will I ever be satisfied? Have I been marked so much in a certain way that I can never change? How does a childhood and social codes participate in such a marking of an individual? These were some of the principal questions of the work but particularly to Bianca Rutiglianoâ€™s solo when she crawls out from underneath the partition.
She struggles until she reaches her mark, gathering herself up to standing. She’s breathing heavily. Thinking about what she is about to do – she hesitates. “Here I Am.” Her arms open wide as she exposes herself. No response. This is not what she anticipated. Her straight spine goes into a slump as she questions her decision. She wants to go back. “No. You don’t want that,” her inner voice says as she takes her hand away from touching it. She’s in a dilemma. What is there to do but to avoid her situation even if for a few seconds? So she begins to walk around the room in search for a revelation. The key. “I need to find it.” Crawling on all fours and desperately searching the ground, she dirties her white ironpressed pants. She’s almost to tears until an old lady comes slowly walking by to drop a set of keys. There’s hope. Picking them up one by one – she asks, “Is this the key?” The ‘No’s’ keep coming until she decides. “This is the key.” The whole world opens up and she begins to frolic her new territory. “I knew it. I felt it. I’m right.”
!44 19. Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
I chose to expose the female figure to give her a space of visibility and audibility. I wanted to give her a body and voice that was courageous even with her constant doubts. I wondered if I uncovered her vulnerability to show that it was her actual strength, could she begin to take up more measure â€“ to become bigger? I started to believe that this was an act of pulling her from the background into the center of the room, where one could experience all her ups and downs without her hiding in the dark. If I continued to repeat this concept through several variations or viewpoints could we, as an audience member and performer, remember her in this way and instill these perceptions of bravery in our memories forever? I wanted to manifest an act of heroism for the female figure â€“ this Joan of Arc trait, where she is willing to show herself as being fully seen and known even with its consequences, in hopes to place such boldness at the forefront of all female legacies.
20. Maria Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928. Film by Carl Theodor Dreyer
A Female Dictionary Duality- Two. Mirror and Reflection. Snow White and the Evil Queen. Similarities and Differences. Protagonist and Antagonist. Sameness. Relatable. Common Ground/Energy. ‘Vibing.’ Female- Includes all ages of gender. Is gender specific. Is used for identification purposes. The gender that is missing something: that doesn’t have everything- defines its struggle. Iron- Lack of energy. Remember to take your pill. Circles under eyes. Eating ice. Anemia. Pale skin, weakness, tiredness. Lady- An elegant, proper name. Used to describe a young or old woman (in most cases) Creates a singularity. Mama- The figure who tries to be and do everything. The one in the background. The helper, the listener, the caregiver. The name you cry out. The name that comforts you. The switch of superior figure to dependent figure. Old- Almost to its end. Shriveled, shrinking, disappearing. No longer desired. Reflective state. Too many memories- an archive. Perfect- Just so. Acceptable to then proud. A desired state. Flawless. Controlling. A female’s desire to please. Pretty- Juvenile word for beautiful or not beautiful enough. Always second. Not extravagant but delightful. Between the middle and the outskirts. Sister- A twin. Another female. A close, intimate bond of similar position. A figure that is parallel. Three- Three’s a crowd. When it starts to get really complicated. Triangle. Negotiating energy, space and time. Generational. Spiritual. Symbolism. Woman- All females above a certain age. After puberty, one becomes this. It is something that is ‘learned’ and is speculated when not conforming to the societal idea of what it is to be. Woman Power.
To pass into a third phase is to suggest transcendence, or commit oneself at least to the triangular shape of transcendence as it has been conceived in many philosophical models; it is to rank the previous two possibilities as opposites and perhaps to suggest their dialectic subsuming or resolution in the third repetition. (Connor, 2007:136)
21. Meredith Glisson, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
Perception: The Bystander’s Viewpoint If the idea of the bystander or onlooker is incorporated into this perceptual frame, how does this third position cause an affect through its own coming into existence? By acknowledging the placement of the bystander and its role in the performance, how does it add to the complexity of perception not only to the unfolding scene before it but also to itself? The figure of the bystander here suggests both the self and other: the seen and unseen representing the interchangeable roles of performer and spectator. As a choreographer I ask myself how the spectator can be part of this overall experience in performance where one affects another’s way of feeling and sensing. By effectively displacing the spectator, how can I apply choreographic methods that also include the spectator within the context of the performance? How do we become part of the set – this imaginary illusion - and how do we comment on the actuality of the space itself? I was thinking about how to direct the audience’s experience in an intimate theater space and what would be the most effective way to play with distance. My answer was ‘diagonal perception’ where, by reconfiguring how we could perceive the performance (including light, sound, set and performers) I could make relationships with the spectator that are cohesive with the contextual themes in the actual work. This brought me to focus on the experience of watching.
The Other’s Dictionary Bystander- Representative of the collective voice: The Greek Chorus. The observer who perceives everything and who is sometimes forgotten about. The quiet one to the proclaimer. Between- The space between two points. The act of balancing. Displacement- To go to another location. Being in an unfamiliar place. Finding where are ‘the places’ to be. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this action? What does one have to set-up? Gap- The missing piece- the whole. Something that swallows you up or you fall into. Need to pay attention to these, so you don’t get hurt. Nowhere- Unconscious of space and time. Being lost. No entrance, path or way out. A place in fiction. Translation- A leap across to the other side. A variation of the original. An alternative meaning. Lost in meanings. How to explain meaning. Another way of perceiving. Not to the point or often clear. Witness- A more active role than the bystander. The available viewer that can take action at any moment. The last one who could make the ‘change of course’ possible. One that acts spontaneously and makes a quick decision. The reporter who gives details of the event that has passed.
22. Halena Stone’s block replica of the show in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Sara Procopio
Logic: The Codes and Systems of Watching Reality and TV
I wanted to focus on this experience of watching to introduce the themes of visibility and invisibility that I am working with in terms of being seen or unseen – heard or unheard. Who is the watcher and who is the one being watched? I am suggesting that these roles are never absolute but interchangeable, and I question how these roles are determined? I am interested in how choices are made in what we choose to watch and, once that choice is made, how does that affect the other in the frame of watching? How do the actions of an individual alter when we sense we are being watched; and how does that shift when one is not watched? I hope that we would arrive at an acknowledgment of seeing another, where both participants make an accord with the eyes, agreeing with the phenomenology of the encounter: that if I see another, I could better see my own self. So by watching another, how does the performer or spectator embody an identity that may or may not be his or her own? I am interested in working with this concept, where I can introduce the idea of the double self in terms of how we see similarities and traits that are absent in ourselves and others. By the act of watching, how can we create focus and importance on what we are looking at? How do we become distracted or loose interest? And how do we gain back another’s attention? By incorporating a TV monitor in the performance I suggest how the role of such an object plays a significant part of how we perceive and understand the social. How does a live performance (much like a TV) manipulate the viewer - censoring information and images, which begin to form an identity of the self? How do we develop forms of knowledge through the repetition of actions and words? I suggest that we could see both the dangers and benefits of such a method. The TV, much like the relationship between the spectator and performer, initiates an exchange with the one who watches. How does watching too much make us see less because of the overloaded repetition of sameness? How do we reactivate our experience by flipping our position? Maybe rather than stripping down to nakedness – an already accepted sameness, we come into being through disguise – an invisibility that goes beyond appearances but rather is found within, as Gilles Deleuze would call a ‘clothed repetition.’ How could the watching participant dive into the TV, into the future, to change what everyone is watching? This action would encourage a reciprocal relationship and recommend that if we are watching, we are also listening - ready with intention and an active state that has the possibility to shift conditions of power and control.
A TV-Guide Dictionary Dreams- Something that you can do. Beyond achievement but towards a well-being. A fixation. The desire to be in another place, time, or state of being. At the beach and with the stars. Sleeping in bed. Divergent- Go off task or on a tangent. Veering off in another direction. Avoiding something or someone. Interjecting or holding up. To go out and come back again. To take time. Scenario- A scene with circumstances. A series of events. People living in a scene. Recurring Event- Déjà vu. Habitual occurrence. Eerie repetition. Confusion and non-sense. A cumulative event. Learned habits and ways of being in certain situations. A chance to change course. Repetition- To abandon the habitual, representation and symbolism. Variation symbolizes displacement and divergent. Difference to/from something else. Beyond the original idea- the exhaustion. Where radical instabilities are revealed. A method of transcendence. Ritual of what one does. Unfamiliar- To have no knowledge of. ‘The Unknown.’ To have awkward and uncomfortable feelings that produce likewise actions. Wondering- A privileged leisure. To give time to think physically. The aimless walk back and forth. A slow walk through an entangled forest or long beach. A reflective and meditative activity.
23. Meredith Glisson improvising, Brooklyn, 2015. Video still
24. Rehearsal at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Photo
Invisible Presence: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder or Frustrated This attentiveness I would like to call the notion of a ‘dedicated body,’ particularly identified through the female figure. This body is never alone but is in constant relation – it is a caring body that precisely knows the moments to express something. It is a thoughtful process, where participants can instantly connect and make decisions, justifying their actions and articulating their reasons for doing so. It is a compassionate practice, which creates a culture of people who become aware of how their actions affect others who share the same space. It is a new way to perceive altruism where by acknowledging and not avoiding the self in loss, we can better understand the needs and feelings of others. A dedicated body becomes a monstrous body in the sense that an individual is a constant reconfiguration of self through gaining fragments of the other – one is the mother, sister, friend, and bystander all at once. I would like to comment on the vulnerable state of a ‘dedicated body’ while in the middle of an action. She goes in and out of our perception. We see her and then forget her, but she is still there. She blurs what we think we know and comes out from the darkness to remind us of the insecurity of such certainty. If we look really hard at nothing, can one see something, or is it even possible - everything? How can all these fragments come together to make an idea complete, and when that idea comes to the tipping point of completion does it start to disappear inside itself again? The act of this unfolding expresses the vulnerable states of existence. These states are exposed because they are constantly moving in and out of a relational context. I want to understand where visibility and invisibility meet. I know it is somewhere in the middle. I cannot pinpoint the exact place and time, but the encounter unexpectedly happens and then leaves. I try to create conditions for such instances to occur more frequently, rather than focusing on its extreme opposite sides. It is in this clash, that we wake up from a dream and get out of bed. This disturbance repeats itself, if we are lucky. These opposing events reoccur throughout the day. When we ponder the course of such a vibrant day back in bed before sleep, it is these ruptures that point to memorable references rather than the habits one repeats and then often forgets because of the monotonous nature of such acts. I rather encourage cultivating these ‘wake-up calls’ in such experiences in the hope that we can become more resonant through their existence. !53
INTENSITIES OF PRESENCE
Personage - Lady Music and Sound
Personage - Hope Set/Space
Personage - Katherine
X 0 1 mins
X - Initiated Break
!54 25. Intensities of Presence Chart for Dramaturgy and Performance course, Zagreb, 2015. Diagram
“There’s a mark on the wall.”
“I feel invisible when…”
Hey Meredith. Um, I think I’m going to answer the question about when I have felt invisible. Um, I would say, there was this time, or it’s still going on I guess, at home when, um my sister Mary, who’ve I told you, who’s autistic. I you know had my opinions about what I think my parents should do, and how she should be more autonomous and maybe, not treat her like a baby, and um, you know push her to be a little bit more involved in her community, or you know take class, or you know talk to a therapist, like things like that where I’ve like I’ve voiced my opinion about things, and they never care about what I have to say, or it seems that way. They kind of like always push it to the side, my opinions on things, but my eldest sister, Annabelle, whose in her 30’s and she’s very very successful and makes lots of money and um is super well spoken… They always take what she has to say into consideration and usually listen to her on uh all things. And even now that my parents are getting older and like writing a will and talking to lawyers about things and trying to figure out their, how they’re going to spend the rest of their life. If I ever put my opinion in on what I think would be a good idea for them, they’re always like saying yeah yeah yeah, but if Annabelle ever says anything they’re like always intently listening. Well, she went to law school and she’s older, and she’s you know, the smart one. I would say in those situations, I feel, I felt like I didn’t have a voice in my family. - Bianca Rutigliano
26. Meredith Glisson improvising, Cornwall, 2014. Video stills by Siobhan Humston
27. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photos by Ian Douglas
28. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photos by Ian Douglas
A Dictionary of Absent Words Absence- No one at home and all alone. Loneliness. Not present. No longer doing. Audible/Inaudible – being heard or not heard. Being understood or not understood. Communication. Being able to speak. Deaf. Instances for using sign language, social gestures and subtitles. Chalk- Temporal material. Outlining a body. A child’s toy. Leaving a trace or residue. A writing and drawing tool. Being washed away. Death- grieving with rage (Judith Butler and Anne Carson) Memory of someone. The unexpected. The lost other. Defeat or failure. The last chance. Coping with the idea of oneself. Birth. Age. Getting older. Time passing. Deconstruction. Disappearance- Vanishing. Leaving a place or time. Essence and residue. Leaving a trace. A lingering energy. Being no longer. Forgetting of existence. Distance- Being far away. Intimate and personal space. Dealing with space and time. Removing oneself. Unreachable or ungraspable. A far-sighted goal. Being unclear or miniature. Gold- Shimmery in the dark. Reflective properties. Women’s jewelry. Grief- It causes sorrow and violence. It brings people together to express sympathy. It can last a lifetime. It is felt at unexpected times like a wave. Loosing the You. Existence- “Me, not me” The importance of the other. Phenomenology. Existentialism. Living in situations and through circumstances. Intuition. Listening to oneself. Adapting to environments. Foreign- The feeling of being strange, out of place or uncomfortable. From somewhere else. The outcome of migrating. Understanding ways of doing and being. Located outside. You are not home. Isolation- A cave. Being surrounded. Enclosing oneself. Shutting off, shutting down. Being separated or divided. Limited- Borders and obstacles. Being told “No.” Unable to move or act. Not having a choice. Finding oneself in a tragic situation. Trapped. Loss – of self, purpose, place, identity. Missing something or someone. Phantom- A lingering absent presence. A ghost in the room. A haunting spirit. Something that doesn’t go away. Reasons for noises and displacements. An outline with no substance. The remains of something or someone. Presence- Being in the now. Reactionary to the necessity. Not waiting. Being in space and time. Aware of surroundings and energies. The act of negotiating- the push and pull. Scale- Opposites in proportion. Power dynamics. Positioning. Louder and softer. Fully grown to younger and older. Child. Old lady. On the spine and hunchbacked. Shadow- The uncanny. Mirror and its reflection. A black silhouette. Hard to identify and faceless. A detailed image of peripheries. Peter Pan. A dark cloud. A lingering stranger that won’t quit. Skin- exposure to the outside. Removal of clothes. Subtitles- cinema and plays in foreign languages. Across the top or bottom of the screen. Aides for the hearing impaired. Visibility/Invisibility – being seen or unseen. Appearing and disappearing. Being blind. Importance of touch. White- Clean and bright. Static. Lost in the illusion. I see the light, it’s either over !61 or it’s a way out. A new beginning or ending.
We are waiting human beings whether we wait for instruction like a machine or the weekend; we seem to always be waiting. When do we decide for ourselves not to wait anymore? Can we decide for ourselves or are our circumstances greater than us?
Should I stay or should I go?
29. Meredith Glisson in Pour Poor Anne, Cornwall, 2014. Photo by Lucy Roumayah
Space: The Living Room and the Nowhere aka The Waiting Room Can a space mean multiple things to someone? How could you jump around from beach, to living room and then to a dream? Could I internalize the person I want to be while also playing my childlike self? Does indecisiveness and too many choices turn into nothingness? How far is someone willing to venture out from oneself or to follow another in uncertain circumstances? I always like this possibility that we could go anywhere and be something else. Instead of waiting around, how about we take that chance to pretend for awhile – just to see what it would be like. Couldn’t we change our conditions? I’m realizing how adaptable we all are – so confronted with change that we have no choice. How do our exterior portrayals affect our inside selves? Maybe it seems like we adjust to change but really we keep close guard of our intimate souls so they can’t be touched. Could we handle it if our souls were exposed?
!65 30. Meredith Glisson improvising at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Video stills by Özlem Şen
Being with you in the room. It transports me as I watch your every move. I never have a chance to think outside of this event that occurs before me. When this happens, I consider it to be a good performance. - Meredith Glisson
31. Meredith Glisson improvising at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015. Video stills by Ă–zlemÂ Ĺžen
I feel like I really think about the conditions of a space and how sound/ music plays a pivotal role in creating this particular space. When making my own scores, I have been using ambient sounds and overlaying my voice. What are some key elements in creating spaces using sound? How do you work with illusions of space, time and the 4th wall? - Meredith Glisson
â€¨ I find these concerns are primary when scoring for stage or screen. I think about density, sound mass, mood, tense. There are diďŹ€erent ways to treat the signal that tend to lead to certain readings -- EQ settings, filtering, reverb, distortion, etc. -- but there's also a lot of discovery.Â Some of it is an ontological question: what are we hearing? Is it to be read as a recording of something that's being reproduced in the room (past tense)? Or is it to be read as the speakers performing here, now before us (present tense)? What is it and why are we hearing it? What are the listening spaces we're creating and why? These are also questions I bring into the room when attending rehearsals, etc.
- Roarke Menzies
A Prop Dictionary
Blocks- Rectangles in shape. Used to build, break, throw, sit on, hold, lift, carry and drop. Chair- A place to sit. A place to reflect. An object between person and space. A tool used to exist. T.V. – An object that deteriorates the soul. Unnecessary noise. A bright and flashy screen. Series of images. Sound yelling out. A place to receive information or entertainment. Doll – A look alike. Replacement for disappearing character. A child’s vision of self.
A Set Dictionary Background- A complex environment made up of parts. Located in the rear. One’s origin, history or culture. Has a camouflage quality. The circumstances at hand. Works with distance. Beach- A place where forgetting happens. A place where the sun is warm and the wind is felt. Hot surfaces to cool liquids. Salt is on the tongue. Games are played here. A unique location. A place to escape to. Interior/Exterior- Inside/Outside. In/Out. Domestic and Social. The inner and outer parts of a space. Mark- A trace of something. Something that initiates a memory. What begins curiosity. A printing. Residence- A home or place to stay. Someone living in a space. Room- An intimate space. Four walls with a door. A place where various activities can take place. Where no one is looking. A space of living together. Sun/Son- When words sound the same, contexts need to be presented for communication not to get mixed up. Sun in the sky. A younger version of a man. The coincidence of spiritual symbolism. Wall- A divider, partition or barrier. To keep out and not let in. A temporal material. Borders with foundations. Used to confine or isolate. Wallpaper- To put up, take down or that peels away. Used to cover up what is really there. An unnecessary decoration. Thick paper.
32. Bathroom walls in apartment, Berlin, 2015. Photo
A PROCESS NEEDS WORK: DEVISING A SCRIPT AND CHOREOGRAPHY SIMULTANEOUSLY
The Seed: The Beach Story This is the story about my friend, with the key. So, I have a friend named Kathy and she was in love with this guy, and with him for like five years. He was a great guy but he was really tough on her, you know, he would always correct her grammar and kind of make her feel like she was never good enough and… She even started taking piano lessons because he was obsessed with classical music and she really wanted to impress him and.. You know was reading the New York Times more just to feel like… I guess she wanted to be more of an intellectual because he was an intellectual. She just never felt smart enough or something. He would always correct her and get really mad at her for things when she would make mistakes or you know stuff like that. And this one time, she went to the beach and he had lent her his Mercedes. And while she was at the beach, she was alone and you know tanning having a good time, and she lost the key to the car. She started to like completely freak out. Because you know, she was like “Oh my God. Alex is going to kill me. He’s going to dump me. I lost the key to his car. This is terrible.” It’s like this small, little key. She’s looking all over in the sand, crying you know looking for this key. And this old lady comes up to her, sees that she’s crying and says you know, “What’s wrong? Can I help you?” And she’s like, “Oh my key. My boyfriend’s going to kill me. I can’t find this key to his car. He told me not to loose it.” The old lady, she goes into the sand by like… you would never think to go near the wet part where the water meets the sand, and she picks up this wet lump of sand and parts it with her finger and there was the, the key. She goes, “Oh here you go darling.” And that was it! She never ended up marrying that guy, thank God but... That’s the story…. I hope that’s, I hope that’s good enough. - Bianca Rutigliano
!72 33. The sea, Cornwall, 2014. Photo
Approaches that Make a Work Work How To Get There Preparing One of the recurring questions I ask myself, as a practitioner is ‘how does one arrive?’ There are many variables to answer this question. Firstly, one needs to consider the conditions of a space that provokes the necessity to create and be engaged. Can the act of this attention generate a space of possibility that results in other unforeseen chances to occur? I am interested in charging up the intensity of space where individuals can narrow their focus on the critical task of making decisions within performance. How do we exchange roles as performers and spectators? By alternating our perceptions, we allow ourselves to experience first hand how space is relentlessly felt and tested with the occurrence of the encounter. The Dedicated Body As discussed in an earlier section of this publication, the ‘dedicated body’ is a body that is in constant relation with an other whether that be someone, a space, an object, time or itself. The body is dedicated to the attention of the surrounding contexts and makes precise decisions based on intuition. After choices have been made, the body tries to navigate through the results of these circumstances. When making a work, I encourage that all participants in the room practice this notion of the ‘dedicated body.’ The work becomes important because there is an active commitment in the space where focus is devoted to what is happening in the present moment. Positioning Arriving is also a study of positioning. I am persistent in my efforts to cultivate ways for individuals to find agency and their voice in hopes for them to excel in their particular ways of being. By encouraging people to express openly their ideas, I hope to allow the individual to configure their thoughts and feelings into a practice of their own. I am adamant about creating a space where participants feel comfortable in their vulnerability to express ideas and take risks so that they can go deeper within their practice. A support system between individuals starts to develop and extends far beyond the walls of the space. With this notion of a group, discourse and critical dialogue motivates the work to progress - it is a continuous effort. Where is the Dramaturgy? A dramaturgical approach is highly regarded where participants take active roles in becoming part of the conceptual thinking behind the work. Questions that have not yet been proposed are asked and time gets interrupted to reflect on the actualities of the work. All of this meticulous laboring lands us to ‘the arrival,’ where ideas have a moment to sediment into the body so that experiences become ‘radical coherences.’ This preparation for ‘the arrival’ hopes to achieve the poetics of performance where the states of consciousness are in relation to the moving, dedicated and monstrous bodies of courageous individuals.
Itâ€™s Better Not to Have Expectations I lied. Expectations... from either what you thought this project was about, after meeting, hearing about the ideas and also when saying its a dance or performance piece using theatrics. How have these expectations changed or gone through a process or were never met?
Answer from Bianca Rutigliano I expected to do a lot movement but figured it would be non traditional.Â I expected Meredith to tell me what to do and give me specific choreography and lines and acting direction. I expected she wanted me to be big and wild and performative. I was wrong. I suppose I'm used to acting in straight plays and film where you have to know your marks and lines and how you're going to approach the character and you better take direction from the boss. Pressure. Get it right. Follow the story line. It has to make sense. The answers are on the page. Meredith wanted me to be a part of the creative process and get to know me. Everything became very intimate and personal, my senses were at an all time high. It was impossible not to be present during her/our process, something I haven't experienced in theatre before.
34. Bianca Rutigliano improvising, Brooklyn, 2015. Video still
Embodied Practices In these improvisational practices, we worked with the protagonist, antagonist and spectator method, which asks how can participants introduce and react upon propositions that are conditioned by a context. If one individual is the protagonist who takes a lead in responding to these propositions while the antagonist reciprocates in relation with the protagonist at the same time following the guidelines of the proposition, then how can the role of the spectator experience each individual as they are and also in relation to each other according to its context? The role of spectator (or in our case the camera lens for most of the time), gives importance to what is about to happen. This try-out is no longer thought of as a try-out but rather an event, a performative one, which is about to occur. Here are the circumstances that were set-up for each improvisational session. Space. We decided a front for purposes of videotaping our rehearsals. We could use anything that was considered part of the space. We introduced certain props for certain propositions. These were mostly chairs, a sweater, yoga blocks etc. We considered the light in the space. The type of space influenced our sessions whether working in a black box or a studio that had a skylight. Music and Sound. The computer was always available. Anyone could turn on or off the music at any time or switch a song. It was usually determined if we would start with music or sound or begin in silence. We were also encouraged to make sounds and use our voices to speak, sing or make noises. Time Limit. We would give ourselves a time limit. In these cases it was mostly 30 – 45 mins sessions. There had to be a clear beginning and a clear ending for each proposition. Number of People and Positioning: We would decide how many people would be in each proposition. Who and how many would start and end in the space. The space could also be empty at times during the proposition. Entrances and Exits: It was determined if we had to stay in the space for the whole time or had the permission to enter and exit. If there were entrances and exits, they had to make sense with the proposition and be carried out. Variation as a Tool. This would be discussed to give possible ways (especially for the antagonist) to respond to the protagonist. These variation tools could be; opposition, similarity, fragmentation, flipping, intensity, spatial, association, color, velocity, quantity, quality, character, prop… to name a few. After the Proposition. When we would conclude each proposition, we would go back and try to remember what we did from beginning to end. The early sessions of the project we didn’t videotape, so we would paraphrase our thoughts and write them down. It was important to note where we were in the space, what was said and of course what we did. We would start giving things names to reference them later. It was interesting to work together in trying to remember because someone would remember something that someone else had forgotten. It was all about how we remembered such events in our minds that we were able to come to a sequence. If we forgot something, we forgot it. Somehow without videotaping, we became even more aware of what we did because we knew we would have to recollect it later. When we did videotape in later sessions, we still wrote down what we did but these writing reflections weren’t as important somehow, I guess because we now had a video archive. !77
35. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano improvising, Brooklyn, 2015. Video stills
Proposition #1 - In and Out in reference to body or space. - Emerging and Disappearing. - Inside and Outside. - Interior and Exterior
Notes After Improvisation #1 Text Do you need help? Yes. Do you feel better now? Do you know where the key is? We need to get to the tower. I’m going to close my eyes. I’m not listening to you. What are you looking at? I can see it if I lean to the left. You don’t want to jump off that one. I’m not bruised. It’s because you didn’t jump. I’m not going to listen to you anymore. Movement, Props and Themes Chairs, window, tower, wave, rain, wet ground, sea horse, unicorn, coves, tapping, type-rope walking, falling, tower stance, pushing wall, listening to wall, granny walks to pregnant walks. !78
Proposition #2 - How to fill space. - What does a space hold? Notes After Improvisation #2 Text I like being in places that make me feel small. Was the tallest girl in school! Men’s size 10 I like to look at the shapes in my eye lids when the sun hits them. Who’s in there? What are you holding? Shiiiiit! I’m always going to be here, so why do I keep trying? Movement, Props and Themes Tracing furniture, balancing a chair, gathering, drinking out of a fountain, sound of construction outside the studio, sirens, curtains on the window, chair sculpture, chair on back, under the chair, look out of window, feel the sun, starfish, say it and catch it.
Proposition #3 Loosing something. Unknown space and time. Unsettlement. Reaching for something that isn’t there. Notes After Improvisation #3 Text We were on the ceiling. Snow was on the ground. Movement, Props and Themes lost body to injury, lost self to looking in the mirror, lost body going under water, lost soul in watching too much TV, loosing a ring, a rat, reaching for something underneath of something else, a dream about a seahorse, reached for the ring and put it back together after it broke, swallowing the ring and getting sick afterwards, hiding from the woman in the tower, moving chairs away from one another, twisting bodies, reaching for each other’s hand, fall to the floor.
36. Halena Stone improvising, Brooklyn, 2015. Video still
Proposition #4 The encounter. Encounter as a remedy for loss. Feeling the presence of another. Transmission of emotions. Memory – the act of remembering. Notes After Improvisation #4 Text Everything is going to be ok. Always will be stuck here. I don’t hear you. I’m not listening to you. Remember we were at the beach. We were happy there. I’m falling again. Movement, Props and Themes Run in a circle, stare at each other, wall talk and touch, standing on chairs with hair down, children holding hands, warriors with chairs, knocking and answering, wrestling hug walks, seahorse on the floor, mermaid pose, laying on the floor face down, putting head in other’s lap, clapping to head bang, walking backwards in a circle, hands over eyes, bumping into wall.
Proposition #5 Be an isolated female figure. Ask yourself when am I character and when am I body? Notes After Improvisation#5 Text That was good. Call me Hail Mary! Amen.
37. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano improvising, Brooklyn, 2015. Video still
Look at me! I used to be pretty like you. I have this bored feeling. I’m so old. Movement, Props and Themes Skylight with sun looking up, statue poses with curves, orgasm, sitting in chair with flipped hair, praying, getting rained on, whipping the self, hands stuck together, drunk, tip-toe walks, putting head in other’s hands, hair strokes, granny walks, snapping in chair, women left from murder, mouth in mirror. !81
Proposition #6 Limitation. Running into obstacles and walls. Notes After Improvisation #6 Text I’m slipping! Stop. Stop. Please, stop. Movement, Props and Themes Using chair to help get somewhere, jumping on chairs, trying to reach something with a chair, stealing someone else’s chair, crawling while have a chair on your back, one foot on each chair to monster walk, laying on two chairs, chain jail walk, holding onto the wall like on the edge of a building, coming to catch someone, falling, run into wall with chair first, throwing chairs, digging for water, bringing bottled water, pulling hair, screaming, bull fight, pulling each other’s hair, wrapping hair over the eyes, screaming at stereo speaker, head banging, crawling onto chair, searching on floor with hair over eyes and arms reaching. Proposition #7 Think of what it is to be a sister and being different vs. the same person. Notes After Improvisation #7 Movement, Props and Themes Braiding each other’s hair, pulling hair back, arching back towards the floor, taking braid out, stomping, sun bathing, twirling hair, hair over eyes, being blind and playing Marko Polo, run around in circle, granny walks, holding a face. Proposition #8 What is the effort in construction and then leaving it? What is the idea of trying to become? Expand and collapse. Build up and break down. How do you resist a break-down? Notes After Improvisation #8 Text I’m the prettiest girl in the world. No, I’m not. You are olive. Go a little to your left. This is what it’s like to be civilized. Would you like to go to lunch? This isn’t very good. Am I perfect? Movement, Props and Themes Chair on top of oneself, throwing chair, rowing boat, drowning, making a fire, floating or dead, checking pulse, bent chest and fists, going back and forth, clapping for another, having tea, putting chairs together, hurting elbow.
38. Christinaâ€™s World by Andrew Wyeth, 1948. Digital Image
Proposition #9 Build suspense and sustain it. Resonant, ricochet and rebound. Notes After Improvisation #9 Text Some people are far away and some are too close. This is my space. Movement, Props and Themes Suspended walks, bouncy jumps, almost touching, being in a bubble, being on one note, balancing on one foot, creeping around, floor creaks, heading for the door, following someone, blowing, awkward silence, start a conversation.
Written Practices These propositions were usually thought of as homework. We would do them at home with a paper and pen. It was a written response to a question. I also encouraged drawing but that rarely happened. (Responses written by Bianca Rutigliano) Q: What is it like to be a sister? A: I’m better than a friend Because I would help you bury a body I’m not in love with you so I wont fuck you over or fuck you I’m not your parent so …No pressure I get you and you get me because our blood is the same Can’t help it Our faces twist in the same way I’ve slapped you, kicked you, and bit you but we are still on the same team- forever Sat in the bath together until our fingers got prune-y Fell asleep to you breathing in the bed next to mine. I love you but sometimes I don’t like you It’s all good. Q: How did you loose your soul? A: When I watch too much TV, I feel like I lost my soul. !84 Q: When did you find yourself – if ever so? A: I found myself when I started to create things again. I failed and failed and failed and failed but at least I was trying.
39. Meredith Glisson, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone rehearsing, Brooklyn, 2015. Video still by Laurence Wallace
what cannot be seen is sensed. what she feels, you cannot see. when is ever there, what is ever disappeared. search for goodbye in a simple shadow. - Siobhan Humston
40. Storyboards, Zagreb, 2015. Photos
These were some of the questions that were asked in rehearsals but the participants had to respond by talking. In some cases someone sat in a chair while the other listened and other times someone wandered around in the space while speaking and the other listened. There was no time limit. You could take however long you wanted until you felt like you answered the question to your satisfaction, or you gave up because you would have another round of answering the same question. What you said could be true or made up. You could change people’s names or tell a personal story that was your friend’s. It didn’t matter. It ranged from confessions to storytelling to making up dreams or lies. Q: Describe a room that is always shifting. A: It was a dark night. I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door and nothing was there. The only thing that that was left was my door. Suddenly my door started to fade. There was nothing under me, nothing over me or around me. So, I started walking in mid air for awhile and I came upon a field of clouds and flowers. Then I saw a flower and wanted to pick it and so I did. All of a sudden the floor dropped beneath me and then I realized everything was back to normal. I was in my room. I realized it was just a dream. - Halena Stone
Q: Describe a space that you enter that someone just left. A: I remember I would have to go into this room. I was always the first person. It was so sad. There was something really sad about it but there was also something that I liked about it. I would open the place up again. I would go in, open the door, lift up the shades. I would imagine what happened the night before, I was never there. I was thinking about what just happened a few hours ago. I would tidy up, move things around, straighten up. And then I would just wait until someone… And as soon as someone came that feeling was over. - Meredith Glisson A: I moved out of my parents’ house, I lived there for most of my life. Now that… sometimes when I come back to visit, sometimes I go in the house when I know they’re not there. Just to be alone and kind of feel at home without having to interact with them and… It always kind of makes me so sad when I walk in and when I’m… like when I see my dad’s bag on the ground, his briefcase with all his notes and all his books everything that he’s… you know gone to school for 30 years. 30 years is in that bag, so, knowing that he had just left to go somewhere, he was just there. I guess because my parents are getting a lot older I always think about… Sometimes I test myself, what if they were dead right now. Walk in here and look at all their stuff. My mom has so much clothing in her closet. Smelling her scarves… I was thinking about what will I do when you’re gone? Going inside my sister’s room. Looking at all her pictures, all her favorite things, her teddy bears and… Thinking about if she’s gone. Well I hope that I die first. - Bianca Rutigliano !87
A Palpable Manuscript is here | she A Performance Personas Hope - Katherine’s other half. Katherine - Hope’s other half. Lady - The child and old lady who is the bystander. She represents who Katherine and Hope were, are not and hope to be. (As the audience waits in the lobby, they will hear a type of ‘living room music.’ The audience enters to find Hope and Lady occupying an all white space symbolizing a living room. The same music that was being played in the lobby is now coming out of the stage right TV. It is downstage facing the upstage left corner. The TV has an image of static. There is a chair on the same diagonal facing the stage right TV. There is also a second TV in the center of the bleacher section. The third TV is downstage left facing a section of the audience. The audience is split into two seating sections. One audience section is facing on the diagonal towards the upstage right corner and the other section is facing on the diagonal towards the upstage left corner. There are wooden boxes scattered around the background of the space, which have constructed a mini wall and a drawer tower. There the tower is upstage left and the two-column box wall is upstage right. There is a screen that gives an illusion of a wall upstage. Hope is facing upstage; her right hand is placed on the stage right TV as she leans to the right. Hope’s face is not revealed. Lady is sitting near the upstage left corner, facing the corner, her face is not revealed. Lady brushes her baby doll’s hair and counts her brushes. As the audience starts to enter the theater, Hope is circling clockwise around the space, still facing upstage. When she approaches the upstage she goes in and out of vision from walking behind the boxes.) Lady 523, 524, 525, 526…. (Lady counts until the audience is seated.) … (Exit doors shut. Lady’s final number depends on timing. Hope is downstage near stage right TV. Lady turns to face Hope on the diagonal and holds up the doll.) Subtitles appear onto the screen She’s ready! (Lady brings the doll to Hope. Hope examines the doll.) Is it time for her to go to sleep yet? (Hope brings the doll with Lady to the single box tower upstage left. Hope opens the drawer of the top box and places the baby doll with Lady’s help. Hope shuts the drawer.) !89
Ok let’s play a game! Close your eyes. (Lady puts Hope’s hands over Hope’s eyes. Lady turns Hope around to face the downstage right diagonal and walks her to center stage. The music intensifies as if replacing the counting. Lady begins to dash in and out of the boxes to find a place to hide. Lady hides behind the two-column wall. Hope turns around to face upstage as she drops her hands. She starts to look for Lady. Music intensifies again. Hope goes in and out of view from the boxes, still facing upstage, until Lady knocks down the two-column wall upstage right. Hope stops in her tracks and faces downstage. Her face is finally revealed. Hope walks towards Lady. They start to rebuild the twocolumn wall back to how it was.) Downstage Right TV The TV interrupts with an important news report We interrupt this program with an important message. (Hope leaves Lady to rebuild the wall and walks over the stage right TV and sits in the chair. She watches the TV. Lady rebuilds the wall but glances over periodically at the TV stage right.) Downstage Right TV 9,000,000 people left their homes today. Streets were closed and… A woman’s voice interjects the TV report Just get me out of here! Can someone help me? Anybody? I have nowhere to go. TV report interjects Time is of an issue, we just don’t know how long it is going to last. The woman’s voice interjects again I’m scared of how they look at me. (Lady comes over to Hope. Lady pushes the TV downstage right and turns it around to face the audience. Lady then walks over to Hope who is still sitting in the chair. Lady places her hand on Hope’s shoulder.) Lady Everything is going to be alright, Hope. (Pause.) Goodnight. (Lady goes to the upstage left corner and starts to play with a miniature building block set.) (Hope closes her eyes. While still sitting, Hope starts to listen to some music from the TV and reacts to her sensations.) Hope overhead voice speaks I’ve been sitting here all day. Something’s going to happen. People keep telling me. I know it. (Pause.) !90
Well, sometimes I don’t believe it. Let’s be honest. (Hope begins to move back and forth in her chair to the rhythm of her breath and thoughts.) Hope Overhead voice speaks It’s difficult to leave your family to be something that you’re not. I stop breathing. In my sleep, I stop breathing. It wakes me up at night. (Katherine’s silhouette is revealed behind the wall. Katherine’s shadow image is slightly bigger than the image of Hope. Katherine is sitting moving back and forth in her chair.) Hope Overhead voice speaks I’m monitoring it now. I have to remind myself to lean away from the mess. You know, it’s always the quiet one that knows what to do. (Pause.) You know what I mean? (Pause.) I don’t know. Maybe it’s all in my head. I don’t really know anymore. It’s like that. (Hope’s movements become bigger- collapsing and expanding. Introducing the idea of getting out of the chair. When Hope reaches standing she starts to do a mourning, head-bang dance. The dance becomes a violent struggle with images of carrying something heavy, mourning and becoming old. Hope slowly makes her way towards the screen. Hope touches the shadow image of Katherine. Hope makes an X. Hope leans to the left side and struggles to emerge. Katherine stands up and blows on Hope to push Hope towards one side. Hope stands, hesitates and begins to walk backwards.) Katherine Overhead voice speaks Hope? Where are you? (Katherine walks around and pauses throughout this conversation.) Hope Overhead voice speaks I’m here and then I’m there. I never feel anywhere. (Hope goes into a solo of misdirection, yearning and avoidance. Hope dances between the wall and the center of the space.) Katherine Overhead voice speaks Are you looking for satisfaction?
Hope Overhead voice speaks I don’t know… (Pause.) It’s rare, oh God is it rare. Katherine Overhead voice speaks Yeah I know. Been there. Hope Overhead voice speaks How could you? You just go on like everyday. Katherine Overhead voice speaks Hey. Watch it. Hope Overhead voice speaks I’m sick of watching. (Pause.) I loose my soul when I watch too much. Katherine Overhead voice speaks Then listen. Hope Overhead voice speaks Yeah. Katherine Overhead voice speaks Who are you? Stop that! You’re being something that you’re not and it’s not working too well for you. Hope: Overhead voice speaks So I should just… Katherine Overhead voice speaks Ah! Give some type of reaction There’s that just again.
Hope Overhead voice speaks So I should be me? Katherine Overhead voice speaks Yes, you. I’m talking about you. When you care for someone, you have to tell them how you really feel. Hope: Overhead voice speaks Like on TV? Katherine Overhead voice speaks Well… (Pause.) Hope Overhead voice speaks There really isn’t anything good on. (Hope makes her way back to the wall.) Katherine Overhead voice speaks Stop. Please stop. That sounds scripted. Hope Overhead voice speaks I feel sick. (Hope lunges down to the floor, her head is last.) Katherine Overhead voice speaks No you don’t. Tell me what you really want to say. Hope Overhead voice speaks That I still have dreams and I’m old. I’m the next to go. You know that. It’s my turn now. (Hope is a ball on the ground. Hope crawls under her chair.) !93
41. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
Katherine Overhead voice speaks Well, let’s be grateful that we’ve been here this long. It’s not like that for everyone. Hope Overhead voice speaks We? Are you trying to be my mom right now? That’s like the word ‘just.’ WE have to stop saying that. (Pause. Hope tosses and turns as if laying in bed.) I have to stop. (Pause.) I can think for myself. Feel all by myself. I can do it myself. (Pause. She pushes the chair to flip over. Katherine immediately stands up and faces Hope’s body on the ground.) I said, I can do it myself. (Hope is laying face down.) Katherine Overhead voice speaks No you can’t. Wake up. Hope Overhead voice speaks You’re right. I can’t help myself. (Hope still laying on floor face down. She slowly flips to her back and to then stand up. Katherine and Hope end of standing and facing each other by the end of Katherine’s speech) Katherine Overhead voice speaks I’m better than a friend. Because I would help you bury a body. I get you and you get me because our blood is the same. Can’t help it. Our faces twist in the same way. I’ve slapped you, kicked you and bit you but we are still on the same team – forever. Stayed in the water until our fingers were all prune-y. Fell asleep to you breathing in the bed next to mine. I love you but sometimes I don’t like you. It’s all-good. (Hope and Katherine walk backwards from each other. They start to circle one another like a duel. Lady crosses the stage in the center and interjects Katherine and Hope. Lady pauses the scene. Lady then runs and goes behind the two-column box wall upstage right. Hope is concerned with downstage left section of the space – symbolizing the left section of the audience. Katherine turns her back to Hope. Hope starts to approach Katherine. Katherine looks over her shoulder and back again. Katherine grabs her chair and turns around. Lady knocks down the two-column box wall that she was behind and reveals herself. Lady pauses the scene again. Lady walks on top of the boxes leading her to the downstage right TV. She sits in the chair and watches the TV. Meanwhile, !95
Katherine threatens Hope with the chair. Hope moves backwards and retreats. Katherine hesitates but puts down the chair. Katherine retreats and becomes smaller. Katherine walks to the upstage right corner as Hope walks to the downstage left corner. Katherine and Hope reflect and bow their heads. They slowly walk towards each other as friends. Their arms reach out and touch the other. They hug. They go from hugging to eventually wrestling. They go in and out of these actions while hiding their faces. Lady starts her monologue with choreography.) Lady Subtitles appear on the screen above Katherine’s image There’s a mark on the wall… and I know why. (Points to the stage left wall.) I’m in trouble but my mom never said I couldn’t tell a story. (Lowers her arm, looks down and shakes her head.) It all started yesterday. I was in my parents’ room, watching TV. (Lady stands up to walk around the TV to sit down on the floor and watch it.) My mom said I had to clean my room. (Starts to stand up and walk to the stage right wall) I didn’t like that. Then my mom bumped into the TV stand. The TV fell over and (Lady touches the wall while she goes in the corner. She quickly turns around with her back and hands against the wall. She is surprised.) smashed. She said she will get it repaired, (Starts walking with hand on wall.) but it will take a long time. (Slides down the wall slowly.) I was so angry that she smashed the TV and I couldn’t watch it anymore. (Lady is in a crotch position with her face hidden. Her arms hug her bended knees.) So then I put a mark on the wall. (Lady turns towards the wall and mimics making ‘a mark’ by drawing an imaginary X.) The next day she saw it. (Lady starts to stand up and walk towards the TV. She turns the TV to face the empty chair.) So, I’m in trouble now (Starts to walk towards the empty chair and sits in it.) and that’s how it is. (Lady lowers her head while dangling her feet.) (Hope gets behind Katherine. Katherine reaches her arms out to try to touch something. Hope walks crotched down behind her holding her hips. Hope then breaks apart from Katherine. Katherine finds the screen and also upstage wall and starts to explore both. Hope slowly descends down to the floor.) Katherine (Touching the wall and going away from the wall. Katherine groans and sighs.)
42. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
Hello! (Pause.) Are you in here? (Pause. Hope is on all fours, searching for something on the ground. Her face is hidden.) I’m waiting for you. (Pause.) I want to tear myself outside. (Pause. Hope slowly lies down on the floor. Her head is to stage left.) There’s fear in here. (Pause.) You’ll carry me out. That’s what I want. (Katherine sighs. Pause. Katherine starts to push the wall and groans. Hope comes up to sitting and slowly raises her left arm. Katherine raises her left arm to ‘accidentally’ meet at the same climax of Hope’s gesture and then leaves it.) Hello. Tiredly (Silence. Hope slowly descends by arching her back to lay on the floor, face up.) You’ll carry me out. You’ll carry me out! Groans That’s what I want. (Pause. Hope starts slowly to stand) You’ll carry me out. (Hope approaches the screen and touches Katherine’s silhouette) No. No, I changed my mind. (Katherine moves away from Hope.) I don’t want to. I don’t want your help. (Hope retreats and then approaches Katherine again. Katherine moves away again.) No. (The light goes out behind the screen. Katherine’s silhouette bumps out. The space is only lit by the downstage right TV.) (Hope turns around and walks towards Lady. Hope touches Lady and Lady gets out of chair. Hope sits in chair and Lady sits on her lap. They watch TV together. Katherine’s hands start to appear coming out from underneath the screen. Katherine slowly starts to crawl herself out from under the screen. Lady starts to fidget and squirm on Hope’s lap. Katherine crawls out into the center of the space. Katherine reaches the point of where she wants to be and collapses. Katherine takes a long pause. Katherine slowly starts to move and eventually comes to swatting with her hands on her knees then to her hips and back to her knees. Lady climbs on Hope to eventually stand on Hope’s lap facing upstage left. Hope sits there unfazed. Katherine’s upper torso starts to straighten.) Katherine (Her whole body abruptly rises up as her arms circle up and down. Her body goes from being presentational to a target. Her feet are planted.) Here I am! !98 Smiles
(Katherine pauses. Her body expands and collapses on a minimum scale. Her arms are open wide. She takes her first step and then another. She pauses. She repeats all of these actions by the feeling of the moment. She slowly realizes that her expectations of this moment are different from what she expected. She starts to lower her arms and becomes still. She doesn’t know what to do in this new place. She waits. She starts to remember the screen behind her. She shifts her weight to turn around slowly to face the screen. She paces horizontally. She turns back around facing downstage. She turns back to the wall. She waits. She starts to walk towards the wall with hesitation. Right before she approaches the wall, she turns around to face downstage. She waits. Her right arm starts to raise up, intending to touch the wall while she still faces downstage. As soon as she touches the screen, she turns around to face the screen. This is Lady’s cue to climb down from Hope’s lap. Lady runs briskly cutting diagonally across the space to go behind the tower of boxes upstage left. Lady disappears and goes into costume change as Old Lady. Meanwhile, Katherine notices that the screen is palpable. It moves. She pushes away from the screen. She looks down and tries to figure out what to do while at times glancing back at the screen. She paces horizontally while checking out the space for clues. She breaks her paces and wanders freely the space until she is back upstage left. She looks for something on the floor while still standing. Her knees bend and she goes down to the floor. She starts looking for something on all fours. She crawls all over the space while taking pauses. She is desperately searching for something. Sometimes she lowers her head to the ground to see further. Meanwhile, Lady disguised as Old Lady comes out of the box tower stage left. She lines up horizontally with Katherine and walks slowly towards her. Lady’s head is down and her back is hunched over. Lady approaches up to Katherine’s hands on the floor. Katherine looks up.) Lady Here you go, honey. (Lady drops a numerous keys in front of Katherine.) Katherine (She takes the keys one by one with amazement and disbelief. She looks at them. Lady continues slowly to walk in a straight line to stage right while walking onto of the boxes on the floor.) Thank you. (She says while still looking at the keys. She stands up and is relieved. She goes from looking into the distance to looking back at the keys. She picks one of them and looks into the distance.) Is this the key? (Pause.) Lady No. (She is still walking towards stage right. Her head is still down and back hunched over.)
Katherine (Disappointed that she didn’t choose the right one. She picks another key and shows it. She looks at the key.) Is this the one? Hopeful Lady Try another one. (She is still walking towards stage right. Her head is still down and back bent.) Katherine Ok. (She looks for another key. She picks one and presents it.) What about this key? (She waits. No response from Lady. She waits.) Alright, I’m taking that as a ‘No.’ (She becomes a little bit more desperate and picks another key.) This is the one! (She waits and still no reply.) No, this is the one! I can feel it. This is the key. Certain Here it is. This one. (The screen drops. Katherine turns around and Hope turns around from watching TV. Lady is sitting in the chair that was behind the wall. Lady watches the downstage center TV from a distance.) I did it. (She reflects as she looks at the screen on the ground.) I did it! I’m the smartest girl in the world. (She is ecstatic and full of joy. Her presence has an upbeat energy. Katherine runs and leaps as she circles clockwise the space. Meanwhile Hope kneels on the chair and faces Katherine.) I was right. I was right this whole time. (Katherine notices Hope and stops. Katherine faces her.) I knew it. I felt it. I’m right. (Katherine and Hope really see each other for the first time. They look at each other from a distance. Katherine turns away and starts to walk towards the upstage left corner.) Hope Hurt How could you do this to me? (Hope gets out of the chair and stands. Katherine stops in her tracks and turns to face Hope.) Katherine Confused. Comes out of her joyful state Do this to you? What about me?
Hope I missed you. (Hope walks towards Katherine.) Katherine Really? Hope Yeah. It was terrible without you. (Katherine is upstage of Hope. Hope faces upstage directly looking at Katherine. Hope hides Katherine with her body from downstage left audience.) Katherine I forgot who I was. Hope Well I was looking for you. And I couldn’t find you, for the longest time. Katherine Sometimes to be near is so far away. (Katherine leans to her left and peers out over Hope’s right shoulder.) Hope I just… I guess I veered off. I’m sorry. (Hope turns to her left and walks diagonally back to her chair downstage right. Hope stops center stage to watch the downstage center TV.) Katherine (Katherine faces Hope.) Sorry. (Hope looks over her should and turns around.) Ugh. No I promised myself I wouldn’t say that. (Katherine starts to walks towards Hope.) But if I don’t, I feel like a… Hope (Abruptly walks towards Katherine and gestures her arms out.) This is my space. Katherine It’s ok. (Katherine backs off. Puts her hands in the air.) I understand. (Hope returns back to center stage. Her attention goes to the downstage center TV.) Been there.
43. Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
(Katherine tries to figure out what Hope is looking at. Then gives up.) Trying not to say ‘just’ either. Hope (Hope’s attention goes back to Katherine.) Oh ‘just’ is bad too. Katherine ‘Just’ and ‘Sorry’ we can’t say anymore. Hope You swear! Katherine Yeah, I promise. (She crosses her fingers) (Hope turns to look at the downstage center TV again.) Katherine Where are you? Hope I’m here. (She keeps watching the TV.) (Lady leaves the Old Lady clothes wherever they have dropped. She stands up and picks up her chair. As the rest of the scene continues, she begins to walk around the left side of the box tower stage left. She walks with the chair in a straight line to the TV downstage left. She places the chair in front of the audience to the right of the TV. The chair faces the TV. She then crosses downstage to stage right. She grabs the other chair. She carries the chair and crosses downstage back to stage left. She places the chair to the left of the TV, next to the other chair. Both chairs face towards the TV. She sits in the chair on the left side of the TV. She watches Katherine and Hope.) Katherine No, you’re not. What are you looking at? Hope Sorry. Frustrated with herself that she said that word I mean. I was just staring… Frustrated again. She grunts and corrects herself I was staring off. I do that sometimes. (She keeps watching TV.) Katherine: You’re still doing it.
Hope I know. I can’t help it. (She keeps watching TV.) Katherine I moved out of my parents’ house… Saying it like a recent event. (She pauses to see if she gets Hope’s attention. She doesn’t, Hope continues watching TV while standing. Katherine talks to her anyway.) I lived there for most of my life. Now that… sometimes when I come back to visit, (Hope slowly descends to the floor. She keeps her eyes on watching TV as she lies in a ball. Katherine continues looking at Hope and telling her the story. Meanwhile, Lady starts to slowly peel away her Old Lady clothing, dropping the articles of clothing on the floor near her chair until she is back in her original costume.) sometimes I go in the house when I know they’re not there. Just to be alone and kind of feel at home without having to interact with them and… (Katherine walks over to Lady. She breaks her monologue by giving Lady instructions. Katherine takes Lady’s chair.) It always kind of makes me so sad when I walk in and when I’m… (Katherine carries the chair and places it between the downstage left TV and the audience. Lady follows her wherever Katherine goes. Katherine continues to give Lady instructions periodically.) ..like when I see my mom’s bag on the ground, her briefcase with all her notes and all her books everything that she’s… (Katherine crosses upstage of Hope to retrieve the other chair downstage right. Lady continues to follow Katherine.) you know gone to school for 30 years, is in that bag, so, knowing that she had just left to go somewhere, was just there. (Hope continues to lay in a ball and slowly moves into a stomach laying position to watch TV. Katherine carries the chair while crossing downstage of Hope. Lady follows Katherine.) I guess because my parents are getting a lot older I always think about… (Katherine places the second chair next to the 1st chair. Katherine instructs Lady to sit in the stage right chair. Lady begins to watch the downstage right TV. Katherine walks towards center stage and stands upstage of Hope.) Sometimes I test myself, what if they were dead right now. Walk in here and look at all their stuff. My mom has so much clothing in her closet. (Katherine approaches Hope and helps her up to standing. Katherine brushes Hope’s hair out of her face.) Smelling her scarves… I was thinking about what will I do when you’re gone? Going inside my sister’s room. (Katherine puts her arm around Hope’s waist and turns them to the upstage right corner. Katherine is on the left side of Hope. Katherine and Hope slowly walk towards the upstage right corner. Hope puts her arm around Katherine’s waist. Lady stands up out of the chair and walks diagonally towards Hope and Katherine.) !104
44. Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
Looking at all her pictures, all her favorite things, her teddy bears and… (Katherine and Hope separate. Katherine walks towards the upstage right corner as Hope walks along the upstage wall of the space. Hope walks towards the upstage left corner.) Thinking about if she’s gone. Well I hope that I die first. (Katherine and Hope reach their corners and sink into them. Lady arrives at center stage. Lady acts as if she is lost and turns in circles. Lady leaps and turns around the space to eventually lowering herself to the floor center stage. Lady is in beach pose looking at both Katherine and Hope. Katherine and Hope slowly start to pull themselves up from the corner. Lady begins to listen to them.) Hope Hello. Katherine, are you there? Katherine Did you say something? Hope You didn’t just hear me? I just… Frustrated …I said are you there, Katherine. Katherine Oh. You always gargle your words, so. (Pause. Katherine and Hope slowly rise higher and higher on the wall.) I’m scared. Hope Why? Katherine It’s too cold. Hope It’s too far? Katherine No, it’s too cold. Hope Just. (Pause.) Dammit! (Pause.) Jump in. !106
(Katherine and Hope should be standing by now. Their legs are spread wide apart with their feet touching and hands touching the walls.) Katherine I can’t. Hope It’s going to be ok. Go for it! Katherine Don’t say that. I’m old. Hope Stop it. I hate when you bring that up. Katherine Alright, alright. Like that? (Katherine stands even taller.) Hope There’s no easing into it. You think this is easy? You’re going to have to take the plunge. Katherine God, that’s an old saying. Hope Whatever. (Pause.) Go. You know I’ll be there with you. (Katherine decides on her own time to leave the wall. When she leaves, Hope leaves the wall too. They run into the center and meet. This makes Lady move downstage. Lady lies down on her stomach on the floor. Her hands hold her head while she continues to look at the downstage center TV. The music slowly becomes louder. This makes Katherine and Hope to speak louder and louder in order to hear one another. They stand facing each other.) Hope Move a little to your left. Katherine Like this? Hope Almost. !107
Katherine I don’t know anymore. Why don’t you do it? Hope I never thought of that. Katherine Yeah, you put all this pressure, but you don’t know how it feels. Hope Of course I do. (Hope reaches her left hand for Katherine’s right hand. They turn to face upstage.) I’m terrified. That’s why I wanted you to do it. Katherine See. I knew I should’ve been sceptical. Let’s do it together then. (Katherine and Hope start lightly walking and trotting forward and backwards while holding hands.) Hope You know we can’t go back. Katherine I know. It’s the whole point, that’s why it’s so scary. That’s what I told you. It’s the reason why I end up doing the same thing day in and day out. Hope You sound like most people. Katherine Yeah, but they seem to be the happy ones, while I’m struggling to figure this whole thing out. Hope Yeah. That sounds familiar. (The music is at its highest volume point. Katherine and Hope continue to walk/skip/trot/run forwards and backwards while holding hands. Their heads bob up, down and back. Eventually they drop their hands and continue this movement. They are still facing upstage. They start to jump together in one spot and introduce clapping. They turn towards one another. They are first tired and then start smiling because they are happy to see one another. The smiles start become faces of pain. After awhile, Katherine slowly decreases her movement while Hope struggles to continue on. Katherine slowly retreats by walking backwards until she bumps into the wall behind her stage right. Hope’s movement continues on but becomes slow motion as she watches Katherine moving further away from her. She takes a position of a lunge while still opening!1and 08
closing her arms. She eventually looks at her hands and then frames Katherine’s face in the distance with her hands. She repeats this action.) Hope (She abruptly changes her position. She stands and shifts her weight. She looks into the distance beyond Katherine and cries out her name as if she’s looking for her.) Katherine! (Pause.) Katherine! (Pause.) This isn’t funny! (She starts to pace back and forth.) Where are you? Come back to me, Katherine. Hysterical That’s what I want. (She looks at Katherine.) Come. Calmly (Lady stands up and runs towards Hope. Hope embraces Lady in her arms and gives her all the attention. With Hope’s arms around Lady, they walk in a straight-line stage left. Lady is upstage of Hope. When Hope and Lady are about to reach the stage left wall, Katherine walks to center stage and watches them. Hope and Lady walk downstage to the two chairs in front of the TV stage left. Katherine continues to watch them. Lady runs diagonally back to center stage to hug Katherine. Hope sits in the left side chair and watches the downstage left TV. Katherine leaves Lady to walk in a straight line to stage left. Lady watches Katherine leave. Katherine looks over her right shoulder back at Lady. Katherine looks back to stage left and then walks downstage to sit in right side chair next to Hope. Lady looks lost again. Katherine joins Hope in watching TV. Lady finds Katherine and Hope, she keeps her eye on both of them as she starts to walk backs diagonally to the upstage right corner. At times, Katherine and Hope take glimpses of Lady and then reside to watching the TV. After Lady takes a few steps backwards, Katherine takes the sunglasses on top of the TV and slowly lowers herself to the floor from the chair. As if Katherine was crawling into the TV, she begins to crawl on the floor on the diagonal towards center stage. When Lady reaches the screen on the floor, she turns around and walks forwards towards the upstage right corner. Hope lowers herself from the chair and begins crawling on the diagonal as she follows Katherine to center stage. Lady turns around just before she reaches the upstage right corner. Lady faces the downstage left corner and watches Katherine and Hope. Katherine and Hope reach their place and curl into a ball facing upstage with their heads stage right. Katherine is upstage of Hope. The music decreases in volume. Katherine pushes herself up with her hands. She sits like the woman in the painting, “Christina’s World” by Andrew Wyeth. Katherine looks over her right shoulder and looks at Hope.) Katherine Remember when? !109
45. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
46. Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
(Hope pushes herself up with her hands to sit in the same position. Once she reaches that position, Katherine and Hope position themselves as if at the beach. Katherine puts her sunglasses on. They are on their backs, legs bent and supporting themselves with their elbows and forearms. They face upstage. Occasionally they flick their hair, toss their heads or adjust their clothes) Remember when we went at the beach? Hope We were so happy there. Katherine …But then I lost the key. Hope Oh yeah. I remember that. (Katherine and Hope keep their elbows still while moving their hands out to the sides.) Katherine We looked everywhere for hours in the sand. Hope Yeah. I remember you were crying. You were afraid what mama would do. (Pause.) But then the old lady came and found it. Katherine I couldn’t believe it. She just picked-up this wet clump of sand, parted it with her old fingers and… Hope Interrupts …There was the key! (Katherine and Hope both turn on their right elbows and forearms to look on the diagonal downstage left corner.) She said, “Oh here you go, honey.” And walked away. (Katherine and Hope flip onto their stomachs. Their bodies are laying on the diagonal from upstage right corner to downstage left corner. Their bodies are propped up by their elbows and forearms as if watching TV. They look at the audience on stage left diagonal. Pause. Meanwhile Lady crosses stage by walking with her hand touching the upstage wall.) Katherine (She leans to her left to see what Hope is looking at.) What are you looking at? (Pause.) I can see it if I lean to the left.
(Pause. She sees that Hope is not paying attention to her.) Hope? What are you looking at? (Hope tries to look over her right shoulder. Katherine switches to look at Hope from her right side.) I’m talking to you. Hope What? Faintly (She returns to looking at the audience.) Katherine What… what are you staring at? (She leans towards her right.) Hope I don’t see anything? Katherine You don’t see that shiny thing? (She leans towards her left.) Hope (She looks over her left shoulder.) No, I don’t see it. (Pause.) Where is it? (She looks around.) Katherine Irritated It’s right in front of you! (Hope looks in front of herself.) Hope (She starts to crawl forward on the diagonal.) You don’t have to yell at me. (Her upper torso falls to the floor as she reaches her right arm out to reach for something.) I’m tired. (She lies there. Katherine joins her in the same pose. Lady should arrive at the drawer tower and hides behind it. Pause.) I don’t want to do this anymore. (Katherine and Hope flip onto their backs. Their bodies are on a horizontal plane with their heads to stage left. They then curl into a ball onto their right sides. Pause for awhile. !113
Katherine repeats the beginning phrase action: she pushes with her hands up to sitting position and looks at Hope.) Katherine Do you remember what my face looks like? (Hope pushes up into same position.) Have you’ve been taking your vitamin D? Hope Of course I have! Stop being my mom, Katherine. (Katherine stays in her position but her head faces upstage as Hope switches her position from right to left.) Katherine (Looks over her right shoulder to Hope.) You don’t have to be so dramatic. (Katherine and Hope fall into a ball position on their sides. Katherine’s head is stage left and Hope’s head is stage right. They immediately start rolling. Katherine rolls downstage and Hope rolls upstage until their heads meet. Katherine finishes laying face down and Hope finishes laying face up. Pause. Katherine remains laying face down. Hope starts to sit up to eventually stand.) Hope Remember when… Remember when we went to the beach? We were so happy there. But then I lost the key. (Hope begins to sit up.) Oh yeah. I remember that. We looked everywhere for hours in the sand. (Hope eventually stands up and walks towards stage left. When Hope passes Lady behind the drawer tower, Lady comes out from behind. Hope then walks downstage to the downstage left TV. Lady opens the drawer to take out the baby doll.) Yeah, I remember you were crying. You were afraid what mama would do. But then the old lady found it. (Hope is moving the downstage left TV to center stage.) I couldn’t believe it. She just picked-up this wet clump of sand, parted it with her old fingers and there was the key. (She walks over to the downstage right TV and moves it to center stage, completing the triangle. Center TV is the point with the Right and Left TVs as the shape’s base. Lady walks to Katherine and helps her stand up. Katherine and Lady walk downstage and split center. Katherine and Lady are upstage of the TV triangle. They face downstage. Katherine puts her arm around Lady’s shoulder. Lady is still holding the doll.) She said, “Oh here you go, honey.” And walked away. (Hope is furthest downstage center. She faces Katherine and Lady.) (Pause. Hope turns and faces downstage. She begins to walk forward onto the bleachers, breaking the 4th wall as if going through the downstage center TV. Meanwhile Katherine !1watches 14 Hope as Lady focuses her doll. Lady begins again to brush her doll’s hair as she picks up where
she left counting in the beginning of the piece. Hope reaches the top of the bleachers, climbs over and jumps off. She walks to the door, opens it and exits. The audience hears the shut of the door and at that same moment- lights out, Lady stops counting and the music stops. There is a very long pause in darkness and silence. All of a sudden at the same time, both exit doors open and light from the hallway shine into the space. A green light fills the space like a Chroma key screen on TV or movie sets. Music begins to play again. Katherine and Lady wander around the space as if ‘on set’ and break their personas. Katherine tidies up the space while Lady goes back to brushing her baby doll’s hair or playing with her toy blocks.) End. (Audience exits. The same music tune in the last scene is being played in the lobby.)
47. Meredith Glisson, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone in is here | she, Brooklyn, 2015. Photo by Ian Douglas
GOOD-BYE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ENDINGS? OR SHALL I SAY BEGINNINGS?
Bibliography ALLSOPP, Ric. (2015) Some Notes on Poetics and Choreography. On Poetics & Performance. Performance Research Journal. Vol 20:1 (16 February 2015) p. 4-12. BEAUVOIR, Simone de. (1948) The Ethics of Ambiguity (2nd ed). New York: Citadel Press. BRADLEY, Rizvana. (2015) Introduction: other sensualities. The Haptic: Textures of Performance. [Online] Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory. Vol 24: 2-3. (26 February 2015) p. 129-133. Available from: http:// www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0740770X.2014.976494. [Accessed: March 2015]. BRANTLEY, BEN. (2015) Review: ‘Ada/Ava,’ a Conjuring of Loneliness and Comfort in Plain Sight. [Online] New York Times. (21 June 2015) Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/theater/review-ada-ava-a-conjuringof-loneliness-and-comfort-in-plain-sight.html?_r=2 [Accessed: June 2015] COESSENS, Kathleen, CRISPIN, Darla & DOUGLAS, Anne. (2009) The Artistic Turn. Ghent: Orpheus Instituut. CONNOR, Steven. (2007) Samuel Beckett: Repetition, Theory and Text. Colorado: The Davies Group, Publishers. HILLMAN, James. (1979) The Dreams and the Underworld. New York: HarperPerennial. Kanal von CTLcasts. (2011) Trinh T. Minh-ha. [Online] Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADtmeCFcBFk [Accessed: January 2015]. MINH-HA, Trinh T. (1999) Cinema Interval. New York: Routledge. PHELAN, Peggy. (2004) Trisha Brown’s Orfeo: Two Takes on Double Endings. In: Lepecki, André. ed. Of the Presence of the Body: Essays on Dance and Performance Theory. Connecticut : Wesleyan University Press, p. 13-28. PHELAN, Peggy. (1993) Unmarked. (2nd ed). London: Routledge. WOOLF, Virginia. (1921) The Mark on the Wall. Monday or Tuesday. [Online] Bartleby.com. (1999) Available from: http://www.bartleby.com/85/8.html [Accessed: March 2015].
Photograph / Image Credits [1, p. 10] Research Presentation at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015 Photo Meredith Glisson [2, p. 12] Improvising on Michelle Anderson’s Farm, Meredith Glisson, Cornwall, 2014 Video Still Meredith Glisson [3, p. 13] Hidden Entrance into the Dramaturgy Department at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Zagreb, 2015 Photo Meredith Glisson [4, p. 14] Improvising on Michelle Anderson’s Farm, Meredith Glisson, Cornwall, 2014 Video Stills Michelle Anderson [5, p. 16] Improvising at HZT-Berlin, Meredith Glisson and Yigit Daldikler, Berlin, 2015 Photo Özlem Şen [6, p. 17] Improvising at HZT-Berlin, Meredith Glisson and Yigit Daldikler, Berlin, 2015 Photo Özlem Şen [7, p. 18] Opening Night. Gena Rowlands, 1977 Film Still John Cassavetes [DVD] Los Angeles: Faces Distribution. [8, p. 26] Improvising on Michelle Anderson’s Farm, Meredith Glisson, Cornwall, 2014 Video Stills Meredith Glisson [9, p. 30] TV Static, 2015 Video Still recroom [Available from: http://www.videezy.com/elements-and-effects/242-tv-static-hd-stock-video] [10, p. 31] TV Static, 2015 Video Stills recroom [Available from: http://www.videezy.com/elements-and-effects/242-tv-static-hd-stock-video] [11, p. 33] Improvising at HZT-Berlin, Meredith Glisson, Berlin, 2015 Video Still Özlem Şen [12, p. 37] Set-Design Mock-up, 2015 Digital Drawing Will Griffith [13, p. 38] Berlin Wall, Berlin, 2015 Photo Meredith Glisson [14, p. 39] Side of a Building, Berlin, 2015 Photo Meredith Glisson [15, p. 40] Improvising, Meredith Glisson, Cornwall, 2014 Video Still Meredith Glisson
[16, p.41] Roaming, [Photograph] 2006 Digital Image Carrie Mae Weems Available: https://aarome.org/people/alumni/sof-events-january-2014 [Accessed: October 2014]. [17, p. 42] Antichrist, Charlotte Gainsbourg, 2009 Film Still Lars von Trier [DVD] Denmark: The Criterion Collection. [18, p. 43] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [19, p. 45] is here | she, Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [20, p. 46] The Passion of Joan of Arc, Maria Falconetti, 1928 Film Still Carl Theodor Dreyer. [DVD] France: The Criterion Collection. [21, p. 48] is here | she, Meredith Glisson, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [22, p. 49] Block Replica of the Show in is here | she, Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Sara Procopio [23, p. 51] Improvising, Meredith Glisson, Brooklyn, 2015 Video Still Meredith Glisson [24, p. 52] Rehearsal at HZT-Berlin, Berlin, 2015 Photo Meredith Glisson [25, p. 54] Intensities of Presence Chart for Dramaturgy and Performance course, Zagreb, 2015 Diagram Meredith Glisson [26, p. 57] Improvising, Meredith Glisson, Cornwall, 2015 Video stills Siobhan Humston [27, p. 58] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [28, p. 60] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [29, p. 63] Pour Poor Anne, Meredith Glisson, Cornwall, 2014 Photo Lucy Roumayah [30, p. 65] Improvising, Meredith Glisson, Berlin, 2015 Video stills Özlem Şen [31, p. 66] Improvising, Meredith Glisson, Berlin, 2015 Video stills Özlem Şen [32, p. 69] Bathroom Walls in Apartment, Berlin, 2015 Photos Meredith Glisson !122
[33, p. 73] The Sea, Cornwall, 2014 Photo Meredith Glisson [34, p. 76] Improvising, Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Video still Meredith Glisson [35, p. 78] Improvising, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Video stills Meredith Glisson [36, p. 80] Improvising, Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Video still Meredith Glisson [37, p. 81] Improvising, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Video still Meredith Glisson [38, p. 83] Christinaâ€™s World, [Painting] 1948 Digital Image Andrew Wyeth Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina%27s_World [Accessed: August 2015]. [39, p. 85] Rehearsing, Meredith Glisson, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Video still Laurence Wallace [40, p. 86] Storyboards, Meredith Glisson, Zagreb, 2015 Photos Meredith Glisson [41, p. 94] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [42, p. 97] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [43, p. 102] is here | she, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [44, p. 105] is here | she, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [45, p. 110] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [46, p. 111] is here | she, Meredith Glisson and Bianca Rutigliano, Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas [47, p. 116] is here | she, Meredith Glisson, Bianca Rutigliano and Halena Stone Brooklyn, 2015 Photo Ian Douglas