SFX’s one-night grab bag of discourse-in-performance, GRAY SPACES features new works engaging contemporary questions of technology, identity, ritual, and more by an impressive lineup of emerging performance makers. “Gray” is the operative word of the evening–these artists and their work exist explicitly in the liminal, exposing new performativities between the embodied and mediated, performer and audience, human and robot. This engagement of new performative spaces begins as soon as the audience enters the building–LAND PROJECT, by Lisa Parra and Daniel Pinheiro, begins in the lobby, with Parra sharing a simple movement score with Pinheiro who appears over Skype. Both of their images are then projected into the theater space, in a gesture that poignantly asks, “where are we when we are not here?”. The audience participates throughout the evening, whether in conversation with a charming drone (yes, a real drone) in Cara Francis’ HAPPY TO SEE YOU, creating a time-bending fantasy wedding in Eric F. Avery’s THE WEDDING, or completing a survey to determine the performers’ movements in Panoply Performance Lab’s EMBARRASSED OF THE WHOLE #15. “To seek connection is to look to the future,” says curator Eli Steffen, and indeed, these artists ask the questions on the tips of our tongues, reframing contemporary existence towards the creative and the critical.
Sara Lyons is a queer feminist director and writer working in theater and performance. Her been presented at Special Effects/Wild Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Fordham University, Culture Project, LaMaMa ETC, Dixon Place, and many more. She is currently a John Wells Directing Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. www.sara-lyons.com