SCHEMA for The Grand Kindness
contributed by Karinne Keithley
The location is a room but given some rich trappings, velvety, a mirror, candelabras, stenciled walls? A big room and the audience sits on all sides. The first part, before we get to the dinner table, there is an insanely good mad dance that goes on continuously. People seamlessly come out of the dance to speak part of the narration on a microphone (there should be several all around the room so there is no particular front), and then rejoin the dance as someone else takes over. Then a table is brought in and the scene at the table happens at a table, with a set of overhead orchestra type microphones dropped in as a gesture, so the conversation can be spoken at table volume. The performers should wear clothes that are somewhat, although inaccurately, antiquated like a Grand Costume Drama, but made from junk. They should be really stinkin hot when they are finished dancing and have to consume lots of water. This will make for some pee breaks during the dinner scene. That's okay. The audience should have a seating area (encircling) designed with some kind of easy futuristic shiny material, or just a strip of shiny silver vinyl to put their feet on. The first half of the production follows its structure dogmatically, replacement and dancing. The dance is simply an effort to spend as much effort as possible. It is rhythmic, social, exuberant, but probably largely in unison or in unison groups. The room needs to be a big room. It is not a problem if it is a space used for other performances (like the stable, st. anne's warehouse, or danspace project), but neither is it necessary. Wait, no: it should be the chapel where Melissa Chris did her Book Dances, in the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn Heights, which is rentable and gorgeous.