Taffety Punk Theater Company
Flashpoint Theater, Washington D.C.
Fast Forward to 2007, it’s the summer, Marcus Kyd produces a one act play called The Devil in his own Words. This piece is culled from dozens of texts about the devil. Using literature and religious texts, Kyd created a singular, striking, compelling and dare I say in this Christian climate, sympathetic voice for the fallen angel. Seeing this performance was akin to watching Lungfish play music, or a screening of the film Gas Food Lodging. It stuck with me as the greatest thing I have seen on the stage of actors. Watching this, I knew that despite my own hurt feelings, Kyd had made the right choice. A fine musician, singer and lyricist he may be. But his passion is for the theater. It fuels his life’s blood.
So with the arrival of suicide.chat.room once again Kyd has re-appropriated the text of others. A Shepard Fairy of the theater almost, Kyd takes what we believe we know and feel about something and renders it into a new, more intense image. And this time, he has help from two very talented people, that bring this dark, mysterious world to light.
With everything in this play that is striking and intense, the piece that captures the urgency of the topic begins with the choreography. Designed by Paulina Guerrero, the weaving of these handles nearly accepting and always rejecting each other, displays the longing of the words found from a screen and turns them into wanting voices. Without these movements, so intimate and longing and yet still dismissive and full of agony, we have vacant words pulled from a computer screen. The anonymity of the internet always seems to forget that there is a voice behind that written language. Guerrero’s choreography highlights the humanity.
Along with music by The Beauty Pill, it also visualizes the internet as actual, physical space. The broken soundscapes that accompany the chaotic movements helps to highlight the same anonymity these chat rooms employ. Under this social confidentiality contract, people weave there innermost anguish in full public. These are not closed forums mind you, but the desire to enter them is singular to one type of person, those who have considered, attempted or witnessed suicide. Ultimately, we find that the movement and sound become the internet space, fractured and separated, but no less real or intense. Chad Clark, Beauty Pill’s mastermind, cracks open his masterful song writing, and lets the contents spill into a beautiful chaos.