Early stages of research for Theatre Y's next show, Stories of the Body: The Woman With No Legs.
I've always worked from my feet, my legs, and my background as a dancer and athlete. But it hasn't been until this play that I've realized just how heavily I rely on my legs in creating work. My fear in this stems from a worry that I'll be unable to create without my roots; that without my legs, I've lost my physical intelligence. Just in the beginning phases of this rehearsal process, there's so much I want to learn about what the legs mean for freedom, for movement, for connecting and what taking them away does to a person.
Here is a section from Cloud Gate's Bamboo Dream to Arvo Part's "Tabula Rasa: Silentium," a song present in The Woman With No Legs. In this piece, I'm curious about the woman's expression of agency and freedom, especially through her legs and feet, as she's manipulated and guided wholly by the man.
More about Theatre Y's Stories of the Body and The Woman With No Legs here.
Opening Macbeth right before the 2016 US Presidential Election has made this the most poignant project I've been a part of. Here's some joyful memories to hold on to for the next four years...
In anticipation of Theatre Y's new education program, and in support of its upcoming production of MACBETH with Chicago Shakespeare's Shakespeare 400, the company is offering two training sessions at Voice of the City. For more info about attending, visit our Facebook event. Hope to see you there!
This past month has been like a revving engine in my patient move to Chicago. I've started a month-long intensive with the humbling company, Theatre Y. I've found a job that allows me to feel secure, purposeful, and still maintain flexibility and support in my artistic endeavors. I'm feeling overwhelmed, thrust into the fire, but that I'm creating a balance worth sweating for.
In this month of May, which has seemed to offer little respite, I was able to spend three days coming home to P3/East, the company of my mentors Robyn Hunt and Steve Pearson. Their workshop in Chicago happened to coincide with the arrival of our director for Theatre Y's Macbeth, so I was only able to pry myself away for three short evenings. But during those days off, I found the bike rides to Unity Lutheran nestled in the shade of the neighborhood trees (always surprising how some parts of Chicago feel like a quiet suburb,) to be like riding my bike home in Menlo Park. The tension of meeting a new director, the anxiety associated with trying to please him, or impress my fellow actors, seemed to vanish in those few hours.
In training, I find the comfort of new breath, of inspiration. I am reminded to see, to receive, to expand. In this room, many of us are strangers, but what we know, what we experience collectively is profound in the moment. And I forget this, in moments of fear and newness and not knowing. I somehow leave the breath behind, or push, or become acutely aware, self conscious. The training reminds me, (and also thanks to the wondrous Cathy Madden,) that it's all an invitation, and that there's choice in every action we take. Though three days isn't enough, it never seems like quite enough, I'm so grateful there's a place to come home to.