What would a relationship look like if time and space didn’t exist? That’s one of the questions University of Winnipeg students in the senior Honours Devised Theatre class are exploring this week in their original performance piece titled Now and Not Now, Here and Not Here.
The piece looks at time and space and how they affect human experience, including our choices and behaviours, and how societies run.
Director Claire Borody said she came up with the theme of the piece after traveling to the U.S. and Europe and realizing the effects that location have on people.
“You can be the same person in two different places and your journey as a person and the time that you spent on the Earth would be so different if you were in a different space,” said Borody.
The creation of the performance piece first began with the eight students doing formal research on time and space and improvising with props associated with measuring time and space. Later, the students took their improvised pieces and made them into repeatable sequences and scores. A few weeks ago, the students picked their favourite sequences and Borody made the final decision about which sequences will make up the final performance.
“It’s like making a necklace—we’re making the beads and putting it all together,” said Borody at their rehearsal. The beads are the individual sequences and the necklace is the final performance piece, which is a compilation of the individual sequences. “The group works extremely well together. They have really gelled as a movement-based ensemble.”
Even so, Borody said directing such an abstract form of theatre has its challenges.
“You really have to be flexible and be good at thinking on your feet,” said Borody. “A linear thinker—somebody that needs to know what they’re shooting for and have a very defined notion of this and only this—wouldn’t be able to do this,” she said. “That’s not me.”
This group of students was particularly easy for Borody since the group works well together.
Now and Not Now, Here and Not Here runs from March 18-20 at 8 p.m. and March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Tickets are free and available at the door.