Ying of the Hill: A Site-Specific Theatrical Workshop in and about Capitol Hill
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A visit from Ying Liu, in two parts!
Aug. 25 at noon: Ying’s workshop, Ying of the Hill: A Site-Specific Theatrical Workshop in and about Capitol Hill
Aug. 26 at 5pm: Ying’s artist show & tell session, Show and Tell with Ying Liu: Tiny, Trivial Thoughts — and Tails
We live in a time where it’s possible to watch an entire feature film on a cellphone in broad daylight. At the same time, tiny digital features like text message delivery notifications have completely re-wired the way we communicate. We’ve made a huge leap from an age when information traveled in hand-written letters that spent months on cross-continental ships.
Instances like these make me wonder: how might they change how long-existing artistic forms, like soliloquies in theater, are presented today?
For me, theater is about committing to something: if life is propelled by some kind of drive and philosophy for survival, then theater—a form that imitates life—is about committing to a trajectory that is conceived and sequenced creatively. And this is what this six-hour theatrical workshop presented by Northwest Film Forum on August 25, 2018 (noon – 6pm) is about.
Collaborating with up to 15 participants, together we will sequence a series of site-specific tasks (such as ordering a drink at Wild Rose Tavern and returning a package to Amazon at a UPS store on Broadway) to be performed in and around NWFF for one hour within the workshop’s time. Each participant’s set of tasks will almost resemble a “to-do list” or an itinerary for a busy day. We will spend the first part of the workshop sketching out and sequencing these timetables. Through the collective unfolding of the series of events in each participant’s trajectory, we will explore the past, present, and future of Capitol Hill, the neighborhood where NWFF is located. Capitol Hill is a changing neighborhood: it’s an arts district, but it’s also transformed into a nightlife center through gentrification.
Through getting to know some of the participants in pre-workshop check-ins, I will generate basic events and threads that will inform the arc of the performance. One of the threads/fictional goals of the participants is to create a collaborative film, with shooting, data sharing and editing all done on the go on their cell phones. The film will be screened at the end of the workshop. In addition, research of the neighborhood and its history will be performed to serve as base material for the workshop.
The workshop’s time is utilized as follows:
- Development and sequencing of group and individual theatrical tasks (3 hours)
- Technical setup (eg. social media livestreaming test, location tracking app setup) (1.5 hours)
- Production/Performance (1 hour) — open to the general public
- Screening and documentation collection (1/2 hour)
The action of each participant will be livestreamed to social media and/or YouTube sporadically throughout the workshop, while NWFF will project these streams on the cinema screen in real time. Simultaneously, we will use GPS apps to track each person’s movement in the neighborhood, and toggle between that information and the livestreams.
Notes regarding the open call:
Ying seeks to assemble a group of up to 15 people with a range of diverse backgrounds and experiences:
- 1) Participants need to have access to a smartphone where scheduling, reminder, GPS location-tracking apps can be installed.
- 2) There needs to be space in their phones for installing additional apps, and storing new filmed videos
- .3) Participants need to be willing to livestream parts of their performance on their social media or YouTube accounts, as they will be projected in real time on big screen in NWFF.
- 4) Participants must be open and receptive to experimentation and an unconventional creative process. However, no prior experience is required. Participants just need to be a team player.
All are welcome! By filling out the registration form, you are indicating your interest in the workshop. Ying will then contact applicants and conduct interviews by phone. Additionally, 1-2 pre-workshop tele-meetings may be held with each cast member remotely at their convenience, for the purpose of developing each individual’s performance trajectory prior to the actual workshop. The registration will stay alive until Aug 24 or until all spots are filled. And we may also release a few spots on the day of Aug 25.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach Ying at firstname.lastname@example.org.