Lead artist/researcher: Jesse Schwenk Collaborating artists: Sean Tuan John (director), Sam Miller (performer)

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orangelove is a theatre performance that combines text, movement, music and live and recorded projection. It tells the story of two male lovers over the entire duration of their relationship, from first meeting to final parting - twenty years of narrative time. The work is an attempt to extend our understanding of the performance space as a liminal space, which allows performers and audience to enter into another, newly-created 'world'. In a naturalistic approach (to use a crude example) the conventions of time, space and behaviour are realistic. We have consciously rejected these conventions, and experimented with them, in order to find new ways of creating a liminal space in performance. In terms of the structuring basis of the narrative, we have attempted to radically alter this. Rather than using the chronological mode of realistic time (used in Naturalism as well as story telling), we have attempted to create a narrative structured according to 'memory experience'. Thus, the liminal space created in orangelove aims to enable the audience to enter the inner world of the lovers' relationship, as well as observe events from its external reality. The aim of the work is to find practical theatre solutions to the question of the basis of experience upon which we create a performance representation, and explore a shift in approach similar to the appearance of 'stream of consciousness' in literature in the early part of the 20th century.

Orangelove hopes to explore the following research questions:

  • Is it possible in theatre performance to construct a narrative according to the inner experiences of the characters, which is (necessarily) more fragmented and non-linear than the usual realistic, chronological mode of narrative time?
  • What are the means and conventions in practice by which this would be possible in theatre performance; that is, convey the sense of a complete experience, fully explored, to the audience?
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