Theater performance, 2006

Producer: WIP Theatre Company (NY), Milyang Festival (Korea)
Text: Sung Rno
Director: Yoon Hansol
Media Artist: Kleoni Manoussakis
Choreographer: Sonja Kostich
Performers: Kim Ji-young, Liz Eckert, Laura Nupponen

A and B are roomates and best friends who learn that the government has announced a new nation-wide lottery according to which half of the population has to go to war against the other half. The choice is based on the birth dates and the two must go as opposite sides. In scene two, A and B meet during the war. B has become a famous assassin while A is sent out to kill B. After a long conversation, a tragic climax is set in which A purposefully provokes B to shoot A as B realizes her own doubt and fear. Scene three is A’s post-war monologue delivered to an imaginary B sitting at the same breakfast table from the first scene.

Director Yoon goes beyond conventions to blur the lines between drama, dance and media performance. The written play is deconstructed into 15 cycles that are repeated versions of the first cycle. The first cycle is the entire play verbally delivered by two characters A and B, while the mostly silent character slowly builds a structure on stage which ultimately serves as a projection screen. The screen contains a stylized cut-out of a dead body, revealed at the end of scene two. After the first cycle (cycle 0), the silent character commands A and B to restart the play. This is done by a system of audio and video cues prerecorded on a DVD and projected on the newly constructed screen.

Each consecutive cycle contains the same scenes, but each time twice as fast as the previous cycle. The performers repeat their movement but the sound is derived from a recording of cycle 0. Projections sporadically appear, composed exclusively of body parts of A and B. As the delivery gets faster, gestures become a dance and a dialogue of sound and still images, a dense video stream. Similarly, the choreography is derived entirely from snippets of gestures of the performers from cycle 0. The last few cycles last about ten seconds each, which are interrupted at random by the performers who are by now physically and emotionally at the point of a breakdown.