About this project
Here you are, in a waiting room, writing down your name in a time slot, preparing yourself to expect the unexpected. Someone calls your name; this person is dressed as a businessman with the face of a pig. He leads you into a room where you have to crawl through a tunnel. As you enter the next room, you are met by wise creatures who tell you stories and give you gifts to aid you on the journey you are about to embark on. You eventually find yourself faced with strange challenges where you must answer riddles and appear on weirdo talk shows to discover that without you and your decisions, this world would not exist. In this journey, YOU become the hero, YOU are the main character.
The Rooms Play is a collaborative, immersive theatrical experience that asks the viewer to become a participant in the performance. There are twenty- two rooms to walk through, and each one is directed by a different team of 2-5 local artists and musicians. Each space in The Rooms Play functions like a scene of a play, and the audience members are integral to the scene’s unfolding.
The narrative bases for the first rooms play (the video shown above) were Joseph Campbell’s Mono-myth and the digestive system. The mono-myth refers to a basic pattern found in stories around the world; it is the skeletal story arc of a hero’s journey. Combining these two “storylines” we crafted a unique written proposal, which defines both the conceptual basis for the play and the architectural structure corresponding to each room. This was then presented to at least 60 different artists in Baltimore, of which over 40 participated. What resulted was an immensely collaborative, vividly transformative experience for those involved and those who participated (the audience).
A huge aspect of this project is to create a form of art where artists can empower one another through collaboration, recognizing their importance and voice as culture-makers. The basis of our conversation is the artists proposal, which incorporated social issues such as immigration and racism as the foundation of the story that the artists will follow. With over 20 artists already on board, regular bi-weekly meetings and conversations with the artists through the entire process will be extending the conversation of immigration outside of the play itself.
For this year’s Rooms Play immigration will act as our inspiration for movement. We are encouraging artistic meditation on what it means to be faced with the challenges of legal, ill legal, alien(nation) and othering. This year, the play will focus more specifically on issues of power, control, and choice. The theme of freedom and its guises are being explored through a re-writing of the heroes journey to reflect contemporary uses of power and control.
How this takes place?
Rooms Play is going to be a part of the 8th annual Transmodern Arts Festival here in Baltimore, Maryland. You can explore the website if you go here: http://www.transmodernfestival.org
Each of the 20 rooms will be constructed in a large warehouse space. The rooms are mostly made of lumber and fabric, with individual installations determining the exact configuration and size of the spaces. The installation and performances in each room are created by a different team of artists, who serve as the creative directors for that room. The installations are created with all sorts of things - lightbulbs, plastic paper bags, huge sheets of colored paper, plants, paint, loft spaces, you name it - the materials needed for the construction of an environment and costumes vary with each participant artist's imagination. We think BIG.
This is where the budget comes in!
It is important for us to pay the artists involved, we want the artists to be able to do what is important to them while also being able to afford their rent. We also need to buy the materials such as lumber, fabric, nails and staples! We aim to be ecologically conscious - buying and using resourced materials - while maintaining safety; thus we are buying as many of our materials as possible from local businesses that sell resourced material.
Although we are asking for $5000, the calculations call for a higher number of funds. Every little bit helps!
PERSONNEL: based on stipend for time and materials Room (split among artists per room) $200 x 21(rooms)= $4200 Videographer $150 Photographer $150 Poster designer $150
MATERIALS: based on average prices and approximations. These materials will construct the 20 rooms that make up rooms play as well as be shared amongst the artists to complete their installations
2”x 4’ lumber $213- 108 pieces of pine lumber studs x $1.97 Sheetrock (drywall) $267- 36 sheets of Fire shield drywall at $7.41 a sheet Hardware (screws & nails) $72 4 boxes of drywall screws at $5.94 = $24 4 boxes of wood screws at $5.94= $24 4 boxes of nails at $5.94 = $24 Staple guns $250- 10 manual staple guns at $25 Staples $140- 20boxes at $7 Plywood $200- $200 Fabric (heavy duty) $350 Hot melt guns and glue $135 6 hot glue guns at $9.99= $60 15 packs of 50 hot glue sticks at $4.99= $75 Extension cords $100 Rope $30 Tape (duct, electrical) $30 Power surge strips $50 Miscellaneous material $300
Transportation $200 To transport materials to space TOTAL AMOUNT NEEDED: $6987
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- (80 days)