This play is a spoken meditation on so many things – art, subjects, objects, knowing, not knowing, thinking that we know when we really don’t – heady stuff – embodied throughout in the quiddity of the naked, young girl standing before us.
Let’s admit we can’t take our eyes off her. But we also can’t stop listening to her.
This is a unique experience. When before have playgoers been offered pencil, paper and a lapboard so they can draw what they see? (The image at the top of this review is a snapshot of a sketch that the woman sitting next to me kindly let me take).
The audience transforms into a live drawing class with an “inside view” that no live drawing class ever gets – the inner life of the model.
Take a string of things – a heterogeneous parade through the mind – errands she has to do today, the next pose, artists we think we know, models we don’t know except for their names, why is that, famous, infamous, smells, stories, sights, sounds – and the fragmentary return of a rumor of suicide – like a tune that keeps coming back each time in a slightly different key — when did it happen, why did it happen, how did it happen, did it even happen?
This is what transpires when the subject is an object with its own subjectivity and we dare to explore it. Distinctions blur. The play’s multimedia production holds up for our reflection paintings as special objects worthy of a museum because this many years later they emanate with the energy of their little known subjects.
Human Fruit Bowl is a well-conceived, well-written, well-acted experience. It’s more than a play. It’s an education.
Bravo playwright Andrea Kuchlewska! Bravo director Jessi D. Hill! Bravo actress Harmony Stempel for a brave, compelling performance – you turned us inside out.
HUMAN FRUIT BOWL by Andrea Kuchlewska, directed by Jessi D. Hill
WITH Harmony Stempel
Baruch Performing Arts Center in association with terraNOVA Collective & soloNOVA Arts March 27 – April 11, Thursday – Saturday at 8pm and Saturdays & Sundays at 3pm with an added matinee on April 3 at 1pm. The Rose Nagelberg Theater at Baruch Performing Arts Center is located at 55 Lexington Ave. (enter E. 25th St. between Lexington & 3rd Aves.) Tickets are $25 ($12 for students & seniors), and can be purchased online at www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac, by phone at 646-312-5073, or in person at the box office.