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In Performance: Call Cutta in Box at The Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis, USA)

Credit: Cameron Wittig

A phone is ringing in an empty office on the 40th floor of the IDS Center…you pick up the reciever and embark on an hourlong personal performance experience that crosses continents, dissolves borders between audience and performer, and challenges cultural expectations. German collective Rimini Protokoll has created “a thrillingly intimate production, which asks us to make the decision to be an audience member in an unusually active way” (Time Out New York). This event is a part of Out There 2010.

January 8-31
$20 ($16 Walker members)
Appointments (on the hour): Tuesday-Friday, 5-10 pm; Sat-Sun, 12 noon-9 pm
IDS Tower, 40th floor, 80 South Eighth Street, Minneapolis

This is a solitary performance experience. Two appointments are available each hour, and reservations may be made in pairs. Please make your advance reservation soon; spots are limited. Call 612.375.7600.

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From the Walker Arts Center Blog:

Our presentation of Call Cutta in Box in January has people intrigued and perhaps a bit anxious. Allow me to allay some fears. I caught the work last January in NYC but before I made my appointment, I waffled through my own slight suspicions … this sounds so odd – how could this be entertaining? … there’s a real chance it could be dull or simply intrusive … maybe I’m not wanting to give anything of myself today. I chose to ignore my instincts and take the plunge. It proved to be one of the most memorable performance experiences I have had, and believe me, I’ve had a few.

Maybe it was the anonymity (if I felt inclined, I could tell this person anything I wanted, we would probably never meet), or being alone in a strange office, or perhaps it was the thousands of miles between us. Whatever it was, I was completely engaged in this piece and found it absorbing, subtly mysterious, and utterly charming. My call center agent, Alakananda, elegantly guided me along our increasingly interactive (and surprise-filled) conversation, and we freely exchanged ideas on geography, work, religion, art, family – not exactly soul-searching metaphysical stuff, but I felt that there was a deeper connection, like she was an old dear friend that I had just met.

As this “phone play” is a connection between two people that shadows in and out between performance and real life, no two interactions will be exactly alike. So I’d suggest you make an appointment with a friend (we have set up the piece so that it runs in two offices simultaneously), then grab a pint or some palak paneer after the experience and talk it all over. Take a 60-minute chance – it may change the way you think about our weird wired world, who we are, and why on earth are we in Minnesota in January. This memorable experience (with great views from the IDS Tower!) is certain to spark contemplative smiles and a fresh set of questions.

Support provided by Producers’ Council members King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury:

Performance space provided by Lindquist & Vennum PLLP.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble bigartgroup.com and network, blog, and publisher, contemporaryperformance.com. He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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