Schema for Scenes with Joyce Cho
contributed by Karinne Keithley
The play is performed in a weedy drive in movie theater near the beach in New Jersey. The whole audience is in Honda Civic hatchbacks. Each car is equipped with a driver. So maybe the whole audience in in pickup trucks so that two people can sit up front, on the bench seat, alongside the driver. The drivers are all to be Korean women who work in finance. Some scenes are straight up movies, filmed on location in Disney World, and starring Connie Chung as Joyce Cho and Barbara walters as Dianne Sawyer. I mean, "and Barbara Walters as Darth Vader." When Joyce Cho flees a scene, the drivers activate a special colored liquid windshield wiper transitional mask. Occasionally people from the movie come round to the cars, wipe down the windows, ask for smokes, or sell old European guidebooks, or pass around packets of soybeans. When the Moo Cow of Moribundity scene is to happen, the drivers drive the audience to a grove in a nearby field, and the audience listens in on CIA type wiretapping-in-an-unmarked-van headgear. The Dark Moo Cow of Moribundity is played by Ruth Malaczech. The Milk Children are played by playwrights kidnapped from Yale. When the drivers return the audience to the area of the movie screen, a giant inflatable replica of the Vatican has been built and everyone is ushered inside. All the scenes that are not with St. Peter are played in front of old school painted backdrops, beautifully, as if done by a Norwegian Opera company, but in English and not sung. But really good scene painters. For the epilogue, the audience is asked to wear very tasteful pigeon hats, given breadcrumbs, and taken into an interior chamber, an impossibly large interior chamber where mutiple slide projectors create the image of San Marco's Square in Venice. The text of the epilogue is read by each driver very intimately, to each of their two charges, while they point out, as guides, the events they are describing, which unfold pictorally via these coordinated slide projectors.
When the audience turns to leave, they notice there are mittens on the floor everywhere. Darth Vader is spotted knitting some more? No one is allowed to leave without doing a shot of tequila? Or buying a Joyce Cho indulgence?
Joyce Cho is presented in someone's converted basement (the kind with a pool table for the kids), a garage, or a community center or school library. A performance of the play by 8 year olds, with the locations projected as a slideshow is already in progress when the audience is ushered in. Someone will need to fetch the rolling desk chair from the other room. The older actors then enter in, ignoring the kids, and pull out a projection screen apparatus that can come forward and recede, and set up an overhead projector. They will perform the play in part speaking (into microphones?) and in part of the poverhead projector with transparencies, pens, and cutouts of figures. Once they are ready to begin, the actors give the kids souvenirs from Disneyworld and the kids go off happily to play with their stuff. The actors really talk to each other, as opposed to speaking for the projected images, but it is the overhead projector that has a real offering of location. It is important that the text is dealt with very seriously, simply, and with a craft. The actors should not be devoid of theater magic though; they should have special hats and pens with multiple colors. The children return to play the milk children. One of them will narrate the epilogue. The only recorded element of the show will be St. Peter, played by Fred Neumann in a close in head shot, so that his head on a TV is roughly the size of a real head.