“This is about how we end up in exile and how we get back home.”
On a beautiful sun filled Friday afternoon, Leah R. Vineberg and I sit under a tree to discuss her upcoming Fringe show, Tuesday Seeds of War: Draft 1: The Hunt. This solo piece presents a different format than most other shows in the festival this year.
Vineberg wears many hats, including, yoga and meditation teacher, performance artist, theatre maker, and spoken word artist, to name a few. This new project explores themes such as, longing for connection and the faith in ourselves to come back to the present moment. These themes are addressed by exploring an emotional landscape, which Vineberg refers to as ‘The Pit’.
“The pit is a kind of purgatory,” Vineberg explains. “Where do you go once you’ve created a shit storm? You’ve created a shit storm for yourself and probably the people that you love the most, and then, what do you feel like? And then, where do you go?”
“One thing that I’ve been looking at is the kind of error in judgement that we can make when we’re triggered,” she elaborates on what the shitstorm may be. “When we’re triggered, we’re triggered in general by something in the outside world. Although, it could be a thought that’s discursive; that kind of undermines our positive direction and that goes and pokes at us.” She further explains how if we negate taking care of it, it “just grows and kind of develops an undercurrent. And we’re irritable; we don’t know why. We’re sad; we don’t know why. So either from within or from without, that triggers us.” It slowly becomes more solid, and if unacknowledged, it will take up more space. “Someone might say something that goes right into your wound place,” she warns. Once it solidifies, it’s a shitstorm. “The shitstorm is that confusion. With years and years of meditation practice that I have, I still get into a shitstorm.”
In preparation for the piece, Vineberg mentions doing a lot of research, “Exposing myself to lots of information that’s kind of depressing actually. I’ve read a lot of statistics on violence and listened to a lot of reports on shootings. I mean, the project is about disconnection. So, how do we disconnect from parts of ourselves and from other people? And why? And what happens in the accumulation in that reluctance to feel what hurts and the pain of the misplaced expression of that pain. It’s so preventable, but it’s so human at the same time. And I wonder if we can grow the way we need to grow without going through these things.”
“It’s not just one thing. It’s porous,” she says about any emotional state and how it is only a state. “It can change if I stay still and stay with it as much as I’m able, it’ll change. It will change. And I may not come to action from a place of reactivity and confusion. Maybe I’ll come into action from a place of wisdom.”
If no performance will be the same, what can we expect? “It’s inevitable that there is going to be some type of progression. I believe there is going to be a linear thread that moves through the six performances that I’ll know about. I don’t know that even one single thing can be the same from one performance to the next and I think I don’t want it to be. I think I would rather step into this landscape and relate to it one moment at a time. That’s what I’d like to do as the artist. I think that’s the best way for me to serve the piece. It makes me really nervous. I hope I can do it…I think something can happen. I really pray that it does. I pray that I offer that platform for people to live something through what they see, through what they feel.”
“It’s not theatre,” Vineberg clarifies regarding the format. “But it really relies on everything that we hope is going to happen in the theatre. All the magic that we hope is going to happen. This is completely reliant on the magic. Completely! 100% surrendered over to that magic.”
Tuesday Seed of War: Draft 1 takes place in Venue 3 (Espace 4001 Berri – 4001 Berri) on Sat, June 13th @ 19h00, Sun, June 14th @ 14h00, Mon, June 15th @ 21h45, Tues, June 16th @ 18h15, Sat, June 20th @ 19h00, and Sun, June 21st @ 13h45