How many human beings constitutes an audience? Some would say that unless you’ve got two or more people, you can’t create the sense of communal listening that’s fundamental to audience-ness. I’ve heard others argue that unless there are more audience members than performers, the show need not go on. I don’t agree in either case. For me, the answer is easy: you only need one.
My first experiment in telling a story-for-one was commissioned by the National New Play Network. PURSUIT is intended to be listened to on an iPod while walking from the intersection of 6th and D Streets NW due east toward Union Station. Although multiple listeners could, in theory, download the podcast and press play/start walking at the same time, the piece is designed to take each individual listener’s walking speed into consideration, which means that before long, they’d all be dispersed along the intended walking route. The message I’m implying: we each have to travel our own paths in pursuit of the truth.
In creating PURSUIT, I was pleased to direct my dear friend John Lescault and to rely on the services of sound engineer Chris Baine. My intent is to create additional walk segments — I’ve begun developing an amble around the U.S. Capitol — and eventually blanket the city in a network of stories that would give artistically-minded tourists and residents a completely new way to see the city… one that isn’t in any guidebook or textbook. If you’d like to know more or support the project, please do reach out to me.
Many thanks to Jason Loewith, Jojo Ruf, and the National New Play Network for making the initial project possible. Photo courtesy Streets of DC.