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BREAKFAST by independent auntie

So the Aunties are working on our new show.  I thought I would post this little “Artistic Statement” that I wrote, originally for a grant proposal, but i like it better than most grants i write. It speaks to what is driving us to create this show.

break·fast (noun) the first meal of the day, usually in the morning.

con·sume (verb): to eat or drink something, especially in large amounts  2. to use something in such a way that it cannot be reused or recovered afterward  3.  to fill somebody’s mind or attention fully   4.  to destroy something or somebody completely

We are a company dedicated to uncovering the hidden in boldly theatrical ways.  In our quest to discover how a theatrical exploration of space could reveal story, Breakfast set out to investigate what might be contained in the space of a kitchen.  As a company founded by women, and dedicated to producing work by and about women, the kitchen, this typically “gendered” domestic setting, this most traditional of women’s spaces, seemed ripe for examination.  An ordinary space, universal and ubiquitous, the kitchen is symbolically and literally connected to the sustenance of life, and to the act of consumption.  A room loaded with cultural and familial symbolism, memory, emotion and tradition, it is a place where legacy is manifest, especially between generations of women.  A place which, upon close examination, has revealed to us a strange and fascinating story, and provoked us to ask many questions.

We ask:
What does it mean to seek your “authentic self”, in an Oprah-Winfrey-world of obligatory self-improvement; where “new age” spirituality and self-help is consumed like take-out; where “happiness” is marketed in the form of a pill, where people are alone and lonely even within densely populated urban settings, physically isolated yet hyper-technologically connected; where talk-show hosts and self-help gurus hold more power than any church; where the cult of “I” has never had more members, or less meaning; and where women are the prime target and prime consumers of the self-help, 20-minute-workout, instant make-over industry.

Breakfast uses the everyday custom of “breaking the fast” to explore the notion of “a fresh start”: Can one ever really change oneself? Does society’s obsession with self-actualization really produce lasting change? Is it truly possible to start over?

We ask:
What does is mean to try and escape one’s past, in a consumer-driven, disposable world where it costs more to repair something than to buy something new, where hard-drives hold more stories than a grandmother and memory can be purchased in the form of a microchip; where human memory can be erased, replaced or distorted by well-meaning therapists, by digital technology; where we’re told we have it better now than ever before in history, that buying is the only power we need to succeed, and consumption is not only our right, but the ultimate satisfaction.

Breakfast poses the question, can one ever truly escape one’s past? In a fractured world, where can one find wholeness?

We ask:
What does it mean to have an intimate encounter with a stranger, in our paparazzi-close-up world of live webcasts and video phones where Photoshop can make anything possible, where YouTube can make you famous, “reality tv” is anything but, digital is the new magic, facebook is the new myspace, bloggers replace journalists, where opportunities to peep into the lives of others surround us at every turn, and the meaning of “real” becomes harder to discern with every passing day.

In the world of television and film, we constantly see “close up” shots used to dramatic effect:  but what about a theatrical “close up”? Our exploration of space lead us to the desire to offer our audience a live “close up”: a theatrical experience so intimate that it is compelling, unnerving and almost voyeuristic. A total and mesmerizing sensory experience in which the viewer cannot escape nor remove themselves from what they are seeing, because they are in fact inside of it. An experience which at first appears to be comfortingly and recognizably hyper-realistic, but which slowly and unaccountable morphs into a strange, magical and menacing scenario.

Breakfast will challenge the viewer to differentiate for themselves what is being manipulated, what is truly magical and fantastic, and what might be the wild imaginings of a mind that has crossed over from reality into delusion.