When I write a goal down, I have a vision for how I’d like it to look. Because of this, I didn’t realize I had accomplished one of my bucket list items earlier this year. I’ve always wanted to take part in a performance in New York City, and this summer, I did.
I am a teaching artist with an organization called Arts! by the People. I’ve taught creative writing workshops with them as well as helped with jewelry, craft, and playwrighting workshops. The experience over the past few years has been wonderful, so when I was offered the opportunity to take part in a multimedia performance with fellow teaching artists in January, I jumped at the chance.
In 2012, Arts! by the People put on a performance called “Across the Platform.” I was moved by the originality and message of the piece (which, to me, was that you need to be yourself and not conform to what others want you to be, particularly in the 9-5 job world).
This year’s performance was called “Tipping the Playpen,” and our main theme was “cerebral clutter.” As artists, everyone involved wanted to represent the creative process journey they’ve experienced. We wanted to represent the craziness of the beginning stage, the lovely moment when an idea comes together, and end with the fact that creativity is an ongoing cycle; a “finished” product does not necessarily equal a neat resolution.
The cast of “Tipping the Playpen” taking a bow
Our performance incorporated dance, fine art, video, cello music, and, my specialty, poetry. The process of putting this performance together took about six months. We debuted our finished work on June 9th at Dixon Place Theatre in New York City. (To see a highlight reel of the performance, click here).
One aspect of the piece that everyone was excited about was the built-in audience participation. For the first 15 minutes of our hour-long piece, the audience was going to be out of their seats and part of the performance through participating in dance, art, and poetry recitation, as well as through watching a video while standing up.
Our piece was very well received, thankfully. I had a few friends attend, and they all said it was definitely different than anything they had previously experienced. Participating in this performance was different for me as well, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
To see the video we showed the audience as well as pictures of the performance, click here.