This is the video from the Boardroom sequence at Appointment in Phoenix, 2014. Filmed by Ruben Tinoco. Written by Aaron Landsman. Performed by Deb Ostreicher.
This kind of viral, open source, self-perpetuating thing is part of the big dream of Appointment, because it’s about making live art happen in offices with or without me (or ultimately, anyone who refers to himself as an artist.)
EFTN was in Detroit Rock City doing performances of their Appointment pieces, which they made with me this winter in Oslo and then brought to NYU in September (details about both of those trips are in posts below).
I had hoped to be there, but was in the middle of performing GATZ at The Public and couldn’t get away. The day before they did their showing, I got a call from Brendan McCall, the insanely talented and energetic leader of EFTN, asking if I’d try to do my own Appointment via Skype while theirs were going on live.
How could I say no? Jo and I put my son Harry to bed, finished dinner, and I logged in.
The piece I had made for the original round of Appointments I shepherded back in fall 2009 (see details in posts below) has something to do with a disgraced academic, and involves asking each viewer to read the piece to the next viewer. I figured it was worth a shot and since Wayne State would lend itself well to the situation, I had a professor there (Pegi Marshall, awesome) print out a copy of the script on their end, I uploaded some necessary audio“>necessary audio and we gave it a try. I had three appointments, and two of them did it for the next person. I sat back and watched.
What does this mean? Is the performer no longer necessary? Is this a revision of Grotowski’s essential ideal of “one performer, one audience member?” Could it have worked if I was not behind my computer in person, but was just transmitting a recording?
And what about this piece that is self-perpetuating? After it gets rolling, I didn’t even have to be there, because viewers could have just kept doing the script for each other in a loop. Is this a get-rich-quick scheme? Is this live performance without the performer? What is he on about?
Here are two photos, from my POV (Please ignore the messy desk. I don’t know who that belongs to). If anyone is reading this who was there, please feel free to add your thoughts.
Here are photos from the most recent iteration of Appointment, which took places in the newly renovated offices of NYU’s Tisch School Of The Arts. Nine drama department students made new pieces. They were joined by five guest artists from Ensemble Free Theater Norway, who I worked with on an earlier version of the project over the winter in Oslo. (For evidence of that, see this post below).
Here’s a nice NY Times Article about the exciting trend of theater for one all over the world.
Works at Appointment / NYU were created by: Arya Dovachi, Katie Eisenberg, JC Flores, Mary Howe, Zachary Kislevitz, Natalia Lassalle, Jose Perez IV, Gina Stevenson, Andy Zou. Guest artists from Ensemble Free Theater Norway included: Dushinka Andresen, Lars Chrstian-Bredal, Christopher Pederson Cook, Ida Mailen Hagerup, Dina Naverud, Mette Fjerstad. Brendan McCall and Hank Willenbrink co-directed. Special thanks to NYU/UGD’s Production Director Chris Jaehnig and our amazing stage manager Itunu Balogun.
Appointment / NYU photos by Ida Mailen Hagerup, and Dina Naverud.
These three pieces were created with the students performing, and credits appear at the top of each video. Thanks to Brendan McCall and TITAN for filming, hosting, and rewarding our curiosity.
And here’s a quick interview between Brendan and me about Appointment:
This is one of three offices where we will be performing Appointment here in Oslo. It’s part of SOS RASISME, and is in the middle of the city, about a block from the National Theatre, where a production of Romeo and Juliet is impending. There will be people working here, and people coming in for meetings, walking by and wondering what’s happening. And there will be micro-theater happening in the middle of it.
Bring your own coffee. Friday, 5 March. Noon-3PM.
Pilestredet 29A, 2 etg, 0166 Oslo.