posted by Laura Moulton
The last performance of “Go There” is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Winningstad Theatre. Don’t miss it. Sarah Rudinoff is a giant-hearted, big-voiced lovely, and a masterful storyteller — she has that rare ability in a performer to evoke tears and laughter at the same time. She pokes fun at herself. and, gently, at others. She is at different turns earnest and a little bit cynical.
At the Saturday workshop at Corberry Press, Sarah introduced us to her colleague and friend, director Sheila Daniels. The class was entitled, “Creating Gestural Vocabulary,” and Daniels said that she wanted to focus our attention on kinesthetic response, having to do with one’s response to external stimuli. (Here she mentioned Ann Bogart and Tina Landau). To this end, we used expressive gesture to explore an inner state or emotion. Daniels and Rudinoff used this method when putting together their show “Shock Brigade,” which told the story of women in combat. Emotions like fury, sorrow, and regret served as the conduit through which a kind of gestural vocabulary was developed.

We divided into small groups and took turns creating a simple gesture based on our assigned theme, (in my group, it happened to be “sedation” as it relates to madness). We created 9 gestures, and then did an exercise in which we had to “perform” the gestures to our phone number, (so all of us performed in synch for the first 3 digits, the area code, and then were off on our own strange gestural journey for the last seven). The end result was a fascinating mix of movement and gesture, of surprising, chance encounters with one another, and especially interesting when Daniels arranged each group in particular way, and then had music going in the background. Local choreographer, performer and teacher Jessica Wallenfels said what struck her about the workshop was how diverse the participants in the class were, (some were actors, others writers, others just starting out in film or dance) and she said that she found this sort of mix appealing, the idea that people coming together from varied disciplines could work together and create a community around the same work. Both Daniels and Rudinoff are pros, so the workshop was valuable in that way, but the fact that they are also very generous, accessible people made it all the better. Go see Rudinoff in “Go There.” You won’t be sorry.