Play: the acme corporation

Play, which I co-directed with Lola B. Pierson, took Beckett’s stage direction—“repeat play”—at the end of the script literally: the piece ran repeatedly for 12 hours starting at 12 p.m. on March 15, 2013 (concluding at 12 a.m. on March 16), and 24 hours starting at 12 p.m. on March 22 (concluding at 12 p.m. on March 23). Audience members came to performance anytime during the 12- or 24-hour run of the piece.

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Naomi Kline

This was partially an experiment in endurance—I was particularly interested in seeing how the piece would “break down” over an extended period of time. Such temporal concerns are not that uncommon in the world of performance art, but it is not something that one normally encounters in traditional theatrical settings.

Sophie Hinderberger
Sophie Hinderberger

There were a total of four iterations of the play, with each repetition taking approximately one hour. (The text normally takes about ten minutes to perform.) First, the play was presented in a more or less “traditional” way, with individual lights illuminating each of the characters as they stand side by side reciting their lines. The second iteration was a typically British bourgeois cocktail party that broke down into a drunken revelry. The third was a metatheatrical moment in which the actors relaxed, ate and recited the lines out of character. The last iteration were monologues created for each character from the text.

Naomi Kline, Nathan Cooper and Sophie Hinderberger
Naomi Kline, Nathan Cooper and Sophie Hinderberger

Play was recognized as Best Production in the City Paper’s Best of Baltimore for 2013 and one of the performers, Sophie Hinderberger, won best actress for 2013 in part for her work in the piece.

Read Baynard Woods’ review/article from City Paper and listen to Tom Hall’s interview with Stephen Nunns about the play on WYPR.

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Sophie Hinderberger

Video excerpt: 

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