When I think about the work we’ve developed so far through the lens of these spaces, I keep returning to a nostalgic way of thinking: the glory, ambition and success that once existed in these spaces versus the ruins of now seemingly useless excesses. It’s odd to feel nostalgia over something you don’t really care about (i.e. skiing and banking). Our emotional relationship to these spaces has shaped our investigation of how people project emotions onto spaces.
Without getting into the logic or the history of what led us to which source materials, I’ll just list our mishmash of sources: the ski shop, Romantic landscapes drawn from paintings and literatures, specifically Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, along with our own thinking about our teenage selves, and what teenagers are like. We hit the rehearsal room with our ideas, discussions, and research, and worked feverishly toward the unknown. Our process culminated with a presentation of material to some trusty artist friends who gave us invaluable feedback.
It’s funny to look back at this exploratory workshop and try to sum up what we created: Our actors discussed what it takes to be a positive force in the world, while trading off emotions and outdoor activities in an elaborate juggling act. We tried performing indoor emotions, outdoor emotions, and outer space emotions. We investigated what in the Universe it would feel like to try to turn emotions into objects that we can slot in and out, or look at for a long time without context. We conjured Nature in both dumb and beautiful ways. We collapsed emotions onto nature, drawing inspiration from the Romantic movement. We maximized our use of a fog machine. and made up songs about the healing effects of Alpine climes. We were trapped in an abandoned sporting goods store, which was scary until it wasn’t, until it was again, but in a way that felt full of potential.
That’s a big run down of a lot of play we made really fast. A lot will change and some surprising aspects of what we made will emerge and develop. And looking ahead, we’re excited to round up some more teenagers to work with in our February workshop at the IRT space above the New Ohio, as part of the Archive Residency program. With teens, Romantic imagery, and feelings together in one space, we’re excited to continue our attempt to reach the edges of emotions as we climb to the edge of a cliff, in a great big Frankenstein journey to the edge of the Earth.