SLABBER began as a theater installation produced at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, MN in 1999. The show began in the parking lot of the theater, where the audience was given 10 pennies and invited through a makeshift fair / flea market in which vendors sold a variety of artifacts relating to HER: water from the river she bathed in, earrings made from replicas of her teeth, tinctures she had created to cure bad dreams and so on. At the end of the fair, the audience entered the theater through a back door, where they found themselves in “Her Lab,” a room with specimen jars hanging from the ceiling and petroglyphs on the floor. SHE sat in the middle, surrounded by microphones, ready to draw the audience into her life’s research. SHE is sick with an unnamed illness, rooted in opposing forces like clean / dirty, bacteria / longing; she needs the audience to help her find a cure.
The Austin Chronicle
“…such intimacy that it resonated in a most personal way.” (source)
Essay by Lisa D’Amour on Slabber (source.)
The sound design for this initial presentation was by Sxip Shirey, who performed in the original and helped us conceive and implement the outdoor fair in the Intermedia Arts Parking Lot.
After the Intermedia Arts presentation, SLABBER was re-imagined as a series of itinerant studies. Each one featured a different kind of pre-show experience, and HER research was altered to suit the city in which the show was performed.
STUDY No. 1: Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, 1999. Pre-Show: Fair
STUDY No. 2: Frontera Fest, Austin, 2000. Pre-Show: Car Audio Tape / Map
STUDY No. 3: Dramarama, New Orleans, 2000. Pre-Show: Fair
STUDY No. 4: Women in Professional Theater Conference, Chicago, 2002.
Pre-Show: Registration Form and Activities
STUDY No. 5: Itinerant Apartment Tour, New York City, 2004.
Pre-Show: Headset Audio Tour from Subway Stop
STUDY No. 6: Brown University, Providence, 2004.
Pre-Show: Headset Audio Tour from Campus Building
The video linked to this page is from Study No. 5, “Itinerant Apartment Tour” NYC. The space was an empty storefront on E. 42nd st. operated by Chashama.