SHRINK: Puppet Therapy (A Case of the Mondays)
Doppelskope is back at the PIT for a run of Monday evening shows. We open each of the shows by asking "what is something you worry about every day at least once a day" and then we see Joey the kangaroo in therapy, working it out with his therapist. The show continues on a non-linear journey through the subconscious to explore the worry in deeper and often bizarre ways. I sometimes think of this show as therapy for myself, since Joey is generally my alter-ego, saying things that I might not be brave or even just interested in saying out loud on my own.
In the wake of the election results, I've been questioning the role and importance of theatre in this moment. Not on a larger scale, but on a personal scale - how should I be spending my time? I know that I will keep creating theatre, but I would like to more consciously think about what I'm putting into the world, and how I might help create spaces for people to reflect and grow. Doppelskope has always been interested in doing that, and now we are even more motivated to create shows that will have a positive impact on the world.
We expect that over the next few weeks of the Shrink run the audience suggested worry will likely be Trump related. Last week we did our first "Donald Trump is something I worry about every day at least once a day" shows. Joey talked about how he felt like he wasn't doing enough. He's worried about the conversations he'll have at Thanksgiving. He understands it this way - I have to listen to people and really care about them, and then my job is to terrify them with the truth. He also described the way he's feeling as waking up and being told that he's a doctor who has to work both the day and night shift, but he's never gone to medical school. As part of his reflection on whether or not self-care is all that important, he spoke about the Jewish story of a person who kept in one pocket, "the world was created for me" and in the other "I am but dust an ashes." Other scenes included a nightmare in which the president is an old floating head and newsbirds fly around delivering the news (The news is: "You're great! Go to Work!"). In a different nightmare, a predator befriends a rabbit by sharing an apple, only to devour the rabbit at the end of the scene.
People are definitely worried, and looking for spaces to gather and regroup. My hope is that we can help create spaces in which people can both reflect and move to action.