Hideout LogoThe Hideout Theater

617 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701 Map

(512) H-I-D-E-O-U-T

See All»

December, 2016

The Exploration of an Avant Garde Journey

We asked cast member and soon-to-be Hideout Graduate, Chris Villafano, to talk about his experience in the current Hideout Student Mainstage show, The Untitled Avant-Garde Theater Project With a Really Long Title. He chose to do so in his own artistic style and voice. Enjoy this flight of fancy and come see the show. ONLY TWO MORE CHANCES!

And then we fade to black. The casino canada audience applaud as the light slowly illuminates the performers. As we make eye contact and nod, we take our respective bows. After acknowledging our Sound Craftsman, the chosen one enlightens the attendees with a brief overview of the theater’s curriculum and foreshadows upcoming shows before departing. The spectators, many that have never ventured into an improvised ambience, could not possibly fathom what they had just witnessed. With the exception of auditory sensation, many tools were in our possessions. Before I elaborate, I implore you to embark on this avant-garde odyssey from the onset. As I alluded to earlier, we partake in a plethora of undertakings for our viewers. Before the day of the show, several duties were bestowed upon us. We enter the theater space and began to mingle with the audience. Some we recognize. Some we don’t. A couple of the actors examined the props on stage. While a few wait in the shadows. The bell chimes. All social exchanges and activities cease among us. Emotionless, we gravitate towards the theatrical platform. While doing so, one transitions the emitting light to the appropriate setting. Greetings, set forth by the opening host, are repeated in unison by the catatonic performers. The host, without missing a beat, saunters towards the table off stage. Holding a hat, they pick out one of many titles written by the audience. After saying the title, we repeat it in harmony and the host shifts the pre-set lights back to the original settings. The prologue begins. A tabloid is created, reminiscent of a Calvin Klein commercial. It inspires the posture and dialogue. Organic magic begins to manifest itself in front of a live audience. Murmuring and reiterating are only an inkling of the mechanics to the opening. Phrases are uttered from each performer. Some at the same time. Others one by one. Focus is maintained and shared from one depiction to another. We have snippets of what to expect in the show. A prelude. The interactions and the movements expand to a boiling point. Then we quickly fades to black.  ACT I begins. Throughout this artsy journey, we have a series of transitions and scenes. Some are abstract. Others are narrative. Some are blended and regurgitated into newborn scenes. Moments of truth are spoken. Anyone of us has control of the scenes. The props (cloths and 4 wooden poles) and the illumination panel are at our disposal. Landscapes, envisioned by us, are showcased for the audience to see. Then the bell chimes. We reassume our unresponsive state from before and slowly exit the stage. The remaining soul mentions the beverage hour specials and cautions everyone to be back in 10 minutes. While the audience venture downstairs to partake in happy hour prices, we attentively listen to feedback from our director. After intermission, we return to begin ACT II. This journey could begin where it last left off. Or it could go anywhere on stage. Or even in the audience. The adventure continues as we organically jump or interlude from one scene to another. But time is drawing close. While invested in thematic elements unfolding before our eyes, we’re primed to conclude the display at any given moment. And at that instant, one of us takes it upon their self to slowly descend the lights to its resting place. The show is done, but the applauses continue.

Backstage, high-fives and hugs are shared among us. The cast had a lot to contend with. We’re always engaged. Always listening. The scene could very well use our support in lighting, props, or side support. Many balls were juggled while being active and attentive to our peers and theatergoers. It is rare that you will find a show where the whole cast has control of the lights and props, while supporting and guiding each other into wacky and unearth territory. This isn’t your original improvised play. This is the Untitled Avant-garde Theater Project with a Really Long Title. And yes, I typed all of that without reference. That, my friend,  is so avant-garde.
Comments (0) | Post a Comment