NEW WORK: I Don't Know and Never Will
Premiere: February 28-March 3, 2018
ODC Theater, San Francisco
I Don’t Know and Never Will, an evening length performance installation, draws on excerpts of Liss Fain’s personal letters from the past to explore the intimacy, solitude and connection of letter writing. The work integrates an installation in the lobby that engages the audience and a broad range of people from the community in a letter writing project and a performance installation inside the theater. Based on the deeply personal contact we create and respond to in the letters we write and receive, I Don’t Know and Never Will is comprised entirely of solos and duets. Excerpts of letters written to Liss Fain, when Fain and her friends’ lives were in flux, are spoken live by actor Val Sinckler. I Don’t Know and Never Will questions and does not answer what happened to the lives of these people.
The theater and the lobby installations are open during the day and before the performance begins; and daytime café-goers and audience members are invited to write notes/letters to the prompt Write a letter or note to someone about something you wish you had done and didn’t do, or something you wish you had not done. Excerpts of these letters are spoken during one section of the piece, with the dancers and musicians improvising to the text they have not previously heard. The voices of people from today counterpoint the voices of people from Fain’s past.
Matthew Antaky's installation of three differently shaped rooms divided by translucent walls surrounds the dancers and actor. A live percussion score, commissioned from percussionist Jordan Glenn, is performed from platforms covering the theater seats. The audience is on the floor of the theater, moving about at will, experiencing the work from multiple perspectives. I Don’t Know and I Never Will continues LFD’s work connecting text, movement, physical environment and perspective.