WRITER, DIRECTOR, SOUND DESIGN, ACTOR (ZENO)
Nighting_Gale (2014) was an interactive immersive experience for an audience of one. Participants were solicited via OkCupid and invited on "a date" with a two-headed sibling. 60% scripted, 40% improvised, Nighting_Gale involved each individual participant as an active producer of the piece, such that every performance-date was a unique, singular experience. Nighting_Gale had three runs in three different spaces across Brooklyn and was performed 30 times. At de-construkt, an art space in Red Hook, we experimented performing the piece in front of live audiences.
Nighting_Gale tells the story of Gale and Zeno. Gale was born a single child. At the age of seventeen, a man began growing out of her side. Whereas Gale was once a well-rounded, precocious young woman, the birth of her male counterpart, Zeno, signalled the beginning of her gradual devolution. The more he grew, the more he assumed her desirable qualities, leaving Gale an insecure, socially awkward shadow of her previous self. Now a fully formed man attached to Gale’s hip, Zeno is embarrassed by Gale's shortcomings. He insists they stay within their apartment at all times so as to avoid public humiliation. Tired of being cooped up, Gale decides to make contact with the outside world by creating an OkCupid profile and inviting strangers over to her apartment on “dates.”
Before these “dates,” Gale drugs Zeno and does her best to conceal from her suitors the fact that she is attached at the hip to a full grown man. As the night progresses, Gale confesses that she is not looking for a romantic connection so much as she is looking for somebody to help her with an important favour. She gradually recounts her story whilst assessing whether her “date” is the person to help her or not. Her stories and conversations are punctuated by temporary lapses into Zeno’s drugged out, dreaming consciousness, wherein a second, surreal narrative plays out in counterpoint to Gale's story. At the moment when Gale decides she has found the right person and is about to reveal what it is she wants from them, the drugs pass from Zeno’s system into hers. She falls asleep and Zeno wakes up. Zeno tells a very different version of his and Gale’s story; one that undermines much of what Gale had told the date prior to passing out. In a dramatic conclusion, Gale reawakens to seize control of the situation and asks the participant to saw her and Zeno in half.
LISTEN to excerpts from a live performance here: