Monday, April 18, 2005

el shaddei working

I just came back from viewing kt shorb's Chicks, Dicks and Chinks installation/performance ( and it has me thinking about my own play in progress.

Built on a series of poems, the voices in my piece (tentatively titled El Shaddei - a feminine name for god) are slowly coming together, and I have started visualizing the setting. In my craziness I see how spaces like the allgo theater or the Vortex could be manipulated for what I see. I wonder, too, how to make those more intricate aspects of my play work within a larger setting, like embellishments on a costume that must be admired closely. I'm beginning to see it.

I was amazed at the way kt assumes a certain understanding from the audience. Only one installation piece was directly utilized within the performance - a simple wash basin, shaving cream and razor. Other installations were never referenced but became a part of the space and people took time to view them, to walk through the space. It certainly carried a different energy.

Presumed genderqueer sensibilities helped just let the piece be. In a lot of ways, kt was actually able to be hirself, even while in character, because s/he was living it on the stage. I enjoy that idea : that we have the opportunity of being completely ourselves and not having everyone know every little thing. As Hector Lavoe said, cada cabeza un mundo/every head carries its own world. Those spaces where we don't have to be like anyone expects or even like we expect ourselves to be should be cherished. Those are true rebellious moments.

I've always said and really believe that if straight people had to go through as much introspection and dilemma, this world would look entirely different. Every moment would be self-critiqued, and some measure of clarity would be assumed. Others would respect the final choices of individuals better, knowing there was a culture of self-definition and struggle behind identity creation and orientation. Rebellion, not normalcy, should be necessary for growth and change.

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