SAPA

1996
Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin, Ireland
Produced by
The Project Arts Centre
In association with
The Firestation Artists Studios

Commissioned for the Dublin Theatre Festival, Sapa was performed at the old Iveigh Fish Market in Dublin, Ireland. The show was a manifestation of two separate experiences of Asia. The previous year Jeff Becker and I had spent extended periods of time in different parts of Asia. Through Sapa we combined these experiences to create a performance with a non-linear sense of time where the dichotomy of struggle and celebration was the central thread. Memory was the main artery running through the show. Sapa moved from conscious through instinctual memory to that of the subconscious.

The set included a 15-foot x 18-foot memory scale and projection screen, on which a performer could be balanced against a barrel of water. A 14-foot x 2-foot wheelbarrow with a leaf blower carried white shirts to the projection screen; a performer then used the leaf blower to blow the shirts onto the screen. Fire drums made from steel were lit and remained burning as they were played. A rolling cart was equipped with a funnel for catching and smashing fruit that dropped out of the celing. Solenoid-powered hammers were mounted onto resonating surfaces throughout the building, which turned the entire space into a large percussion instrument. A device called The Contradictory Machine moved through the space with corrugated iron wheels that turned in opposite directions.

Sapa was commissioned by the Project Arts Centre in association with the Fire Station Artists Studios in Dublin. Written, produced, and directed by Crisus, the piece was performed by Malcolm McClay, Jeff Becker, Mark Hosey, Vinny Murphy, and Seamus Purcell. Bradford Cat and Billy Da Mota of Art Ghetto, Los Angeles produced an original score in collaboration with Tom Richards, Los Angeles.

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