Sunday, September 30, 2012

Habit: Talk Back Tomorrow

Two of the four actors at the talk back.  The director's on the right.
Those who know me might know I have a thing for art marathons.  I was a regular at Marina Abramovic's performance at MOMA, for one.  Over the years, I've frequented marathon readings, including the Joyce and Stein readings that used to be held every other New Year's Eve at the Paula Cooper Gallery, here in NY, and the New Year's Day poetry marathon at St. Mark's Church. There's something about endurance for art's sake that I find really exciting and moving.

Last Wednesday, I found out about Habit, a 90-minute play about two dysfunctional brother orphaned since childhood, trying to hold their lives together in a depressing ranch house, rather wretchedly decorated for Halloween.  The older brother, Douglas, is a coke dealer; the younger, Mitchell, has just been fired from Walmart for "not showing up."  The play opens just after Douglas's former lover, Viv, drops in from college on "Halloween break:"  she's just been kicked out for failing her classes, has lost her scholarship.  Obviously, she's similarly deeply troubled, has a dead brother, moonlights as a stripper and has been a victim of sexual violence.  The three characters roam the rooms of a 700 square feet house, fully wired and plumbed, built especially for the play in the middle of an abandoned old marketplace in my neighborhood.  In the house, they must stick to the script, and they must perform the play over and over again for eight hours straight.  During this time, they must shower once.  Along the way, they eat, bake pans of brownies, drink, pretend to snort coke, rest, nap, confess and decorate for Halloween.  Along the way, the flimsy ties that bind the three begin to unravel.  Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals is referenced, as well as Neil Young, Captain Beefheart, poetry scams, and semiotics. At the end of each iteration, there is a violent death.  A gun usually goes off.

Tonight I heard a speech spoken over a Pink Floyd CD that a character had just put on.

On Saturday, before the penultimate performance I went to the Talk Back.

I'll tell you what I found out about the play at the TB tomorrow.

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