Third and Last time Around with Tea

img_0838         For my final project I wanted to take the working elements of the two earlier projects and simplify them whilst creating in more complex work. The two earlier projects contained tea in them. During deeper expirations of my relationship with tea I realize that it’s a symbol that is tied to many facets of my identity. It is important part of almost all the cultures I was brought up in, Indian, American, Japanese, and Iranian. This brought me back to the key premise of this journey, the expiration of time in story. I am very much a product of the times and would not exist anytime before this. I was also interested in the way that we tell the story that got us here. And how as audience members we are able to imagine alternate pasts while giving facts. From these ponderings I came up with a new score.

img_0840         In the final performance I would make tea while explaining what I Believe to be true about tea. To get this material I free wrote a list of every fact that I know.  I then measured how long it took me to make tea and recorded me reading the list. This portion would be filmed in chunks and playback in eight tiles much like the last performance. During the brewing of the tea I talked about the Inspiration for the work. I did this into a microphone and made a patch that listened to the decibels I was producing and produced a light whatever they got loud enough. My meanderings on the microphone ended with me presenting the tiles and then I poured tea for people.


I did not get a lot of feedback after the show, but I did get a lot while rehearsing it. For instance, during the performance I needed to assert my role during the making of the tea by looking at the audience. Also that I needed to put a little more attention into the composition of my set. These pieces of advice really help the final performance and I wish I had better used my lab time as the space for rehearsals incident of doing so much work at home.

My constant worry through the process of the three performances was that I was not keeping in the spirit of the class by making simple systems. during the final performance I realized that what I was working on was highly applicable to the class. I was creating systems where the user could express themselves and have complete control over the performance. I was designing a cockpit for a performance with a singular user, me. The designers, stage manager, and performer only had to be one person. The triggers for actions played into the narrative of the work. In the second performance cycle the cup of tea attached to the Makey Makey  integrated a prop into the system that controlled the performance. In the final performance I ditched the cup instead opting for a more covert controlling method. I placed to aluminum foil strips on the table and attached the Makey Makey so that I could covertly Control the system by simply touching booth strips. The other cue was controlled by a brightness calculator that was triggered by turning off the lamb after I made the tea.

This performance will not be a final product and I will continue to work on it for my senior project to be performed in March at MINT gallery, here in Columbus.  I plan on integrating the Kinect that I just bought to create motion triggers, so that even less hardware will be seen on stage. I believe that I’m going good direction with the technological aspect of the work and now need to focus on the content. This class allowed me to think about systems in theater and ways to give the performer more freedom in the performance. The entire theater proses could benefit from a holistic design proses, where even the means od truing on a light must be taken in to consideration.

Leave a Reply