Andy and Kate’s Dinner Party
An intimate, site-specific, theatrical dinner party event
Private residence, Madison WI
Andy and Kate’s Dinner Party was an immersive, interactive, and intimate live performance event that occurred on Thursday April 26th and Friday April 27th, 2012. We positioned the domestic environment as a stage, and presented a theatrical event in the form of a dinner party. Since we see this event as situated at the intersection of postdramatic theatre and relational aesthetics, a major aspect of the project is audience participation. On Friday night, our guests grew so lively that they seemed to become a chorus, forming a sort of call and response structure as they echoed and commented upon Andy and Kate’s monologues. Around the dinner table we explored the relational creation of group identity; the table allowed our guests a platform to spontaneously perform, whether self-consciously or unconsciously.
Upon entrance to the event, guests were given a fake cocktail, suggesting that Andy and Kate were just staging a dinner party. However, the guests were next served real caviar – an intrusion of the excessively real into the imaginary. The metatheatrical exposure of props, beginning with a prop drink in the first course and culminating in a fake pudding mound in the final course, produced a series of failures of representation, mimesis, and illusion. Between courses of colorless, tasteless JELL-O and projectile peas, our guests were served a delicious meal of beef tenderloin, baby beets, and mashed potatoes. The idea was for the tension between the lifelike and theatrical elements to be irresolvable, producing a perpetual ambiguity about the line between theatre and the everyday, artifice and reality.
Course 1: Blue Room
Course 2: Jello Mound and Opera
Course 3: Bloody Beets and the Play-Within-the-Play
Course 4: British Humour and Beef
Course 5: Delicious Texts
Course 6: Noise and Blueberries
Course 7: Pudding Fiasco
Course 8: Dance and Finis