I rarely read program notes before seeing a show. This forces me to submerge myself in what is being shown, instead of allowing the director’s note to coax me into looking for a narrative that may no be clearly revealed.
When I entered the building that housed the Iron Factory, it was quiet.
Maybe silent….no, quiet.
Attempting to be unobtrusive, I moved towards the wooden stairs that would take me to the performance space, but the creaking sound of loose wood announced my presence.
Director Sam Tower invited me towards the performance space with a gentle gesture, before showing me to an empty seat.
Onstage there were armchairs, paisley curtains, antlers, newspaper, and performers in suspenders: this was the world of I’d Rather Choke Than Be a Quitter.
Prior to the show, I was curious about the title and wondered about the narrative.
As the performance unfolded, the bubble that housed my curiosity, planted itself next to me. I searched for clues that would help me resolve my inquiry, then I found myself stranded in a distant place instead of being in the moment.
So I threw away my preconceived notions and went along for the ride, hoping the puzzle of this performance would solve itself.
While holding a microphone, performer Emma Arrick gathered a pile of newspaper diligently. She placed the microphone close to the crumbling newspaper, amplifying the sound before nesting her body in the mound she prepared with the papers.
I was being pulled into a galaxy of inexplicable gestures, abstract movements, and bizarre sounds. I soon realized that the complexities of Quitter were nothing but that poem we sometimes find so hard to complete and even harder to understand.