This is Great!

This is Great! is a theater performance that simulates coercion and abuse, and questions agency.

While the audience is waiting for the performance to start, the performer takes group portraits of the audience as they are waiting. On stage is a table with a laptop, where the images are uploaded into Photoshop, and projected on a screen as wide as the stage. The tension is built up by zooming in on individuals, turning audience members into the subjects of the performance. A second performer is planted amongst the audience and picked out by zooming in on him in the image to come on stage. He takes place behind a typewriter at an opposite table and starts typing a story. 

What follows is a play that starts funny. The photo is altered in real time using Photoshop – eyes and heads are copied onto others, but soon a darker side is revealed. Individuals are erased and eyes are blacked out, the sound from the typewriter is both violent and repetitious. The erasure is meant to remind of power structures that dominate abusive relationships, tyrannical regimes, and perpetrator-systems.

For most part of the performance, the piece rests on the power of imagery and sound, which serves to transform the intangible into a perceptual experience for the audience. The performance concludes with the first performer reading out loud the story the other performer finished typing. It's a personal account of sexual abuse. Thus, the abstract and the actual, the big and the small amalgamate. 

Made in collaboration with art-therapist and filmmaker Daniel Lanctot.