Blank Page: An Unwritten Story of Sex
What does sex have to do with blank pages? And have you ever wondered what those first few blank pages in every book are for anyways? Are publishers giving us a little buffer in case we spill some beef stew that sinks through the cover? Are they places to jot down notes or doodle brilliant new inventions like Di Vinci while we should be studying? Did someone think there was more to be added to the story?
Whatever the reason, those blank pages remind me that our books could be empty from cover to cover, that at one point here was nothing written, that there was a time when Moby-Dick did not swim through literary oceans and Mad Captain Ahab did not even have a leg to lose to the White Whale, and that at one point Frodo never had the journey towards Mordor awaiting nor the ring of power hanging heavy on his neck.
OK, here is my point: our lives begin like empty books, each day we fill the pages with our story. Some of our best stories revolve around love and sex—I mean most of us are here because of it, right?—and yet some of the worst passages of our lives are those of mistakes, abuse, and rape.
Claire Richards is addressing these written and unwritten things in her new play/performance TONIGHT through FRIDAY 7 PM @ the Tau Center! Her creativity blends the darkest with the deepest stories spoken through the voices of community members accented by professional dancers. It is a performance that touches every member of our community, celebrates what could be beautiful, and speaks to some of our deepest struggles. Come and be apart of turning over a new page in our world.
Below is an interview with Claire Richards, Artistic Director of SEED Performance Art
Twigz: So Claire, we here at The Noisy Neighbor have heard quite a bit of noise coming from your direction? What’s the big deal?
Claire: Well, it is nice to know that SEED is gaining recognition in Winona! SEED’s mission is to create art for Winona, by Winona. That basically means, we take stories from the community and use the arts as a vehicle through which to tell them. Our artists are from Winona, our concepts are from Winona, and our production value is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself!
Twigz: Since I am waiting for marriage, why is this so important? Who needs to hear this? And why should they come?
Claire: Blank Page celebrates the choice to be sexually active on one’s own terms…sexual freedom is a right that should be respected on an individual level. Survivors of sexual violence didn’t have a choice. That is why it is important to continue to raise awareness around the conversation of sexual violence prevention.
Twigz: OK, some of us know your “style.” How would you describe what you do? Theater? Performance? Post-modern-gobbledygook?
Claire: SEED’s style uses theatrical devices to highlight story telling. We bring in whichever artistic medium is the most appropriate to convey the story. In this case, we are using spoken word and dance. In the past, we have used painting, and fictional narratives, in the future we intend to use photography and music. We use found space for our performances, not just because we have yet to find a place to plant ourselves (see what I did there…with SEED?! Ok, I’ll see myself out.). I love the idea of transforming a place out of the ordinary purpose it serves and endowing it in a way that it becomes part of the art we are presenting.
Twigz: Tell me about the faces behind the masks. Who are your artists?
Claire: We have four dancers: Genevieve Draskoci-Johnson, Annika Gunderson, Pedro Lander, and Jacqueline Markevitch Paulsen.
Four readers: Jayston Seeling, Will Hesch, Rob Thomas, Keagan Anderson
And two amazing technicians:
Dave King — Sound Design
Sam Michael — Lighting Design
Twigz: What’s your story? Why are you in sleepy, wholesome, little Winona, stirring up trouble and noise?
Claire: I don’t really fully understand this question. I am practicing my art in a community that is very receptive to the practice of art. SEED’s art is a different medium than some of the other conventions that are being used in Winona, but I think it is important to promote diversity. My personal background is in theatre. I studied it in college, practiced it in Connecticut and New York for a minute. Now that I have made Winona my home, I intend to continue enjoying this artistic convention.
Twigz: Where the f-f-f-fur coats and wool socks is this happening, anyways? And when should I be there?
Claire: YES!! The details!!
7pm, March 5th,6th, &7th
Tau Center Rotunda
(511 Hilbert Street)
Tickets available at the door or online. $8 student/$10 adult