Summer's tough. You don't want to do anything but go to the beach or run down to the swimming hole, but then you become paralyzed by the sense that you're not having enough fun, and things can really go down hill. Well, not for us, not this summer! Thanks to Piehole member Elliot Quick, Piehole friend Sophie Shackleton, and Sophie's incredibly generous parents WInk and Charlie, we went and did something. We went and did something on July 4th weekend, no less! An Artists Summit in Vermont, complete with bonfires, dancing, spiders, and tears. A group of 30-some people, mostly (but not entirely) theater artists, gathered in a barn filled with air mattresses to share meals and make work. We decided to use the time away from daily life to develop a Piehole Gym - to come up with exercises that we could use in our ongoing practice. Each day we drove away from the beautiful wooded vistas of our hosts' farm to run around in a moldy abandoned ski shop downtown. Sure, others might have been inspired by the babbling brooks and lush greenery back at home base, but you should have seen this crumbling dry-wall, these mysterious dead birds, this shattered TV in the middle of the floor! We loved it so much that we let our gym drift into less structured play, and a piece began to emerge - more details on that soon! Here we are having some fun:
We also took advantage of our stay in Vermont to indulge some New England fantasies. Feeling like miniature paper people in our own diorama, we stood in awe under a covered bridge that we'd used as a model for Old Paper Houses:
It...might be clear from the photo above that we also had a little too much fun in a local thrift shop:
Did people get injured? Yes. Did we wake up in the middle of the night questioning our identities as "artists"? Yes. Did 30 people all have to use one port-a-potty? Absolutely. In other words, best summer ever, and thanks so much to Wink and Charlie! Check out their website to see what they do, as artists, in Vermont, in all seasons.
Cover image by Carol Rosegg.