Performing at home…

I want to acknowledge that kyōgen has a very specific space that is used for the performance of all kyōgen pieces. It is virtually impossible to suddenly transform a home into a kyōgen space. I’m not even talking about technology, and filming issues, or separated actors; I’m only talking about the space. 

With this in mind it only makes sense that our production got creative and decided to make “new”
Remotely Kyōgen pieces. Yes, this is the time to acknowledge the play-on-words in which kyōgen is famous for; the UHM pieces were done remotely, and they were partially, or remotely, kyōgen.

As far as my experience with performing at home: 

First, I want to apologize to my neighbors for being really loud, singing, screaming and using weird voices. Although, to be fair, they got me back a few times when they were loud and I needed a quiet background.

Second, I want to apologize and thank my husband for:

My constantly moving the furniture around during the rehearsal and recording process*

A collage of images of a woman wearing a diamond patterned shirt and an Arlecchino half mask in front of a green screen and surrounded by lamps, ring lights, tripods, a monitor, and desks with cables and props strewn across them.

*I also want to acknowledge my directors Julie and Jane for putting up with me changing furniture around and then getting confused about the orientation of when and where I should look and/or enter from.* 

***Now back to my husband. I’m sorry and thankful for:

Putting up with me selling one desk and then buying a new desk that is smaller but moves up and down and all around with the mover wheels I put on it…Also I’m thankful for him moving said desks in and out of the apartment. 

I’m also sorry for putting up an ugly greenscreen up in our apartment for over a month. He said he didn’t care but as soon as we were done recording, he asked “Can we take the screen down now?”

Also I asked him, or he just knew, to be quiet and stay in the bedroom while recording (and often rehearsing).

I’m grateful for his willingness to make a cameo appearance in one of the pieces (I don’t want to ruin the moment, you’ll see it when you see it.)

I’m thankful for him filming me separately for documentation purposes for the last night of recording of Mask Confusion. He knew it was a special project for me.

And finally, I am thankful for his advice on his native Italian Language and Culture and inspiration for Arlecchino’s disgust and curiosity over pineapple on Pizza.

Overall, I don’t mind working at home in many ways, because I like being home; but turning my tiny apartment into a stage-like setting where I have lights everywhere, spike marks, and furniture in weird places, makes me want a bigger apartment, even if that’s not possible. It makes me miss having a separate sacred-like performance space. However, setting everything up for the performance gives me a sense of something more than my home. It separates my home life from my “work” life, just enough to help me “get in the mood” or “mind-space” to perform. I have learned a lot about performing “theatre” online and although I’m intrigued to pursue it and see how to make it successful, I can’t wait to be together with people again in a performance space.

– Catherine Ann Restivo, Mask Confusion & MushZooms 2.0

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