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Experiment #4

Tell Me What To Do_ (2016/2021)

Concept: Mark Bolotin (2016/2021)

REQUIREMENTS

• One cinema screen (ordinary material)

 

• Two projectors (front and back) - tbc

• One mic on stand (with spotlight)

• One PA system

• 25 white wooden chairs

• Lighting for audience incl. key spots

• Live camera/sound to laptop

• Film area/booth (hidden from the audience)

PERFORMERS

• Two actors - woman (W) and man (M). Gender/age/ethnicity not important.

• MC (optional)

• The audience

INSTRUCTIONS (in development)
 

VERSION 1: UNFRAMED

 

• The audience enters a black box space with 25 white wooden chairs arranged in rows, alternately spaced (as in diagram)

 

• At the front of the space is a large screen.

 

• Two figures are back-projected onto the screen, life-size, sitting on two white wooden chairs, facing the audience. They are dressed in black  - woman W and man M.

 

• In between them is a small circular table with a book, a candle and a pair of large metal scissors on it.

 

• The audience is invited to sit down on the chairs by the MC.

 

• The lights slowly go down.

 

• The two figures sit watching the audience. Silence.

• A light slowly comes up on a microphone about 5m from the screen.

 

• Eventually... words comes up in bold letters: “TELL ME WHAT TO DO”

 

• (Possible) W: Tell me what to do.

 

• (Possible) M: Tell me what to do.

 

• The audience can come up and speak commands into the microphone.

 

• W and M respond accordingly, somewhat slowly and mechanically at first then more fluidly. Or with more resistance.

 

• W and M must respond to everything the audience tells them to do, unless it endangers their safety or involves any sort of offensive/discriminatory request

 

• After a given time, the lights slowly go down and the performance ends.

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VERSION 2: FRAMED

• The audience enters a black box space with 25 white wooden chairs arranged in rows, alternately spaced (as in diagram)

 

• At the front of the space is a large screen.

• A film begins to play. Then at a certain critical stage of the narrative...

• Two figures are projected on the screen, life-size, back-projected, sitting on two white wooden chairs, facing the audience. They are dressed in black  - woman W and man M. (The audience should not notice the change from pre-filmed footage to live film).

• The two figures sit watching the audience. Silence.

• A light slowly comes up on a microphone about 5m from the screen.

 

• Eventually... words comes up in bold letters: “TELL ME WHAT TO DO”

 

• (Possible) W: Tell me what to do.

 

• (Possible) M: Tell me what to do.

 

• The audience can come up and speak commands into the microphone.

 

• W and M respond accordingly, somewhat slowly and mechanically at first then more fluidly. Or with more resistance.

 

NEXT POTENTIAL NARRATIVE STEPS:

•Performers reveal who they are.

 

•Performers reveal what their relationship to each other are.

 

• Performers develop the narrative further.

 

• Performers begin to question the audience. "Why would you say that? Why would you do that to me?"

 

• Performers refuse the audience’s commands.

 

• An audience member is sampled onto the screen in real-time – performers tell them what to do.

 

• Two more audience members appear on the screen.

 

• Performers urge the audience to cut the screen and free them.

 

• Screen cut.

 

• Performers appear from behind the screen and confront the audience.

• Performers walk out of the theatre.