Walker Art Center

In Performance: 600 Highwaymen, The Fever (Out There)

600 Highwaymen The Fever Walker Art Center, Out There Festival The audience enters The Fever by 600 Highwaymen at the Walker’s McGuire Theater through a backstage door and steps onto the stage, which is laid with red floor and surrounded by a single row of chairs. The expectations of these spectators about their usual role have already begun to erode.  Many of these patrons attend the entire Out There Festival, which included Antigonon, uncontingente epico and Mercurial George as well as the upcoming Real Magic. But for these attendees, tonight’s performance will involve more than simply sitting in the dark and observing. 600 Highwaymen will ask their audience to create a community together– to participate in telling a communal story and to embody the performance itself. At first the...

In Performance: Okwui Okpokwasili – Poor People’s TV Room (Out There Festival)

Poor People’s TV Room Okwui Okpokwasili Walker Art Center (Out There Festival) As in 2014’s Bronx Gothic, Okwui Okpokwasili is in motion before the audience enters the space. In fact, all four performers (Okpokwasili, Thuli Dumakude, Katrina Reid, and Nehemoyia Young) are already present and in motion. A large sheet of plastic stretches across the stage, separating Okpokwasili from the rest of the group, and blurring her image, as if she is a ghost or a spirit. Unseen forces are a recurring theme in this work. Though Okpokwasili names two events from Nigeria’s history as influences (The Women’s War of 1929, and the Bring Back Our Girls movement sparked in response to mass kidnappings), this source material is not addressed directly or literally. The four women seem to spin through ti...

In Performance: Faye Driscoll – Thank You For Coming: Play (Out There Festival)

Thank You For Coming: Play Faye Driscoll Walker Art Center (Out There Festival) “The book of the show is not yet written,” Faye Driscoll intones as she welcomes a small group of audience members onto the stage. The show’s interactive opening sequence has the feel of a ritual: the performers sit chanting in a clean, gallery-esque space, surrounded by neatly-arrayed props and costumes. Audience members are invited to stand around an altar-like table and to contribute a word or two to be used later in the performance. Since this operation, completed in small groups, takes a not insignificant amount of time, spectators can relax into the cycle of chanting and watch the precise, repetitive tableaux created by performers as they move from their separate squares to pose at the front of the stage....