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director/conceiver.  Donna Marie Baratta

cast. Jessica E. Carmichael

description. This site specific installation piece, choreographed and situated in a found space was devised in close collaboration with the actress, Jessica E. Carmichael.  This piece was inspired by the traumatic events of the kidnappings of Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart. The young woman is trapped in the display case and suffers the audience’s gaze.  There is an incongruence between the childhood items in the case, the images of pornography, the suffocating garbage strewn about and the evangelical music playing.  This is a world where she has no voice but where she tries to communicate to the audience to help her with post-it notes that are hidden in the garbage and in her clothes.  This was an experiment to see if the audience would open the display case for her -- if so -- she had a specific ending, if not - she had an alternate ending.  Ultimately the audience chose not to help her and she remained in the display case.  This made me think more about the relationship and responsibility of the audience in a performance piece and how to bridge the gap between the performer and audience.

inspirationAs Tim Etchells says about the transformative power of theatre in On Risk and Investment: “Investment forces us to know that performative actions have real consequence beyond the performance arena. That when we do these unreal things in rooms, galleries and theatre spaces the real world will change. To me that’s the greatest ambition and the truth of cultural practice—things can change, things can slip, things can move, because they’re pushed (deliberately), because they’re knocked, by accident.”  

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