ARC residency. The piece we created through the residency, FRIEND came
out of the recent loss of one of my closest friends to a brain tumor at
the beginning of our time at CounterPULSE. In working on that piece and
unearthing stories about the beginning of our friendship in 11th grade I
was flooded by other stories. I had met Sharon during my one year of
attending Berkeley High School and we were part of a group of friends
that came together quickly, briefly and intensively–united around shared
desires for consciousness expanding, artistic exploration and boundary
pushing of many kinds. Sharon had been the one friend I had kept in
touch with after high school, through college and into our adult lives.
As she died, many of the friends from that wild year reunited at her
It was wonderful to reconnect, and it also stirred up a potent
mixture of memories and unresolved feelings. During that year in the
late 1980′s we opened many doors that flooded us with more insights,
questions, darkness and light than our young psyches were prepared for.
Some of us were able to recover gracefully, and some (like myself) were
cracked open and tossed around by the winds of confusion for many years.
I am exploring once again all that was unleashed for me through that
rush of spiritual seeking, psychedelic drug-tripping, sexual
exploration, rebellion and power play with the help of the Dandelion
I relayed my stories in as much detail as I could remember to Mantra
Plonsey, who then wrote a script that became the seed and structure of
our new work, ARTHUR IN UNDERLAND. The piece is taking me back into a
frightening and wonderful land wherein I seemed to have left important
pieces of myself–a sense of wonder and delight, a longing for discovery
and a trust in the mysterious synchronicity of the path that is always
at my feet.
The story of ARTHUR IN UNDERLAND is fictional, and yet it feels
painfully true to me, more so than if we had tried to retell the literal
story of that time. I am powerfully reminded once again of my love of
performance as a vehicle for healing and transformation. I find myself
deeply nourished every time we enter this dream-world in rehearsal. It’s
uncomfortable, electrifying, provocative, overwhelming, joyful and very
mysterious. I feel honored to be working alongside such courageous and
generous artists, and to do so in a venue that creates such a safe space
for risky exploration.
Here’s a 3 minute preview of Arthur’s journeys: