Having no preconceived notions about Claude Wampler as an artist, there was many assumptions that I took liberties to make based upon her interview with Mark Russell during the noontime CHAT at PNCA. Going into the show yesterday evening I felt informed, prepared and excited to for whatever was or was not going to happen. Then I went to the show and tried my hardest to keep my mind open and my patience firm, eagerly searching until the end for something to take away from this experience… alas, I came out with not much, but a half-hearted explanation that I made to myself about how this it was a valuable artistic experience. Although, I was not too convincing.
Claude Wampler is an exceptional individual whose brilliance is apparent in the subtlest of facial expressions. During the CHAT, she told the tales of her beginning days and earlier works, explaining intention and execution with confidence and insight into the theater going experience. (By the way, if you can listen to the TBA podcast of this chat then I cannot be more enthusiastic that you jump on that opportunity immediately. It was insightful, interesting and inspiring.) She discussed her influences and her inspirations in creating new works. She discussed her appreciation for the manufacturing of spontaneity (she called attention to the inherent paradox) and how this ties into the specific theater goers experience of feeling “special.” She discussed past works in which the original perception of what the piece was to be was flipped in order to challenge the audience. She also discussed her past use of “plants” in the audience to create small localized performances within the whole show.

So the show
: it started right on time, which challenged my preconceived notions of “the waiting” being part of the show based on what I had already heard. The show kept going and there was no annoying people in my vicinity to speak of, even in my “heightened state of paranoia.” Then the show kept going and people started to leave halfway through. By the end, which was not clear, people seemed hesitant to leave as if waiting for the something that they came to see. It did not seem to show up and after looking around at their neighbors uncomfortably for many minutes, most people finally made their exit. The final encore of the show is to take place tomorrow night at the Works, so maybe I should reserve my final judgments until that time.
posted by Noelle