By Holli Harms

Performance Space 122 (ps122) has a questionnaire that is part of your program packet. One of the questions is “How do you self-identify?” That right there is the play, Intimacy. How we as individuals self-identify.

The play is created by members of Ranter’s Theatre, an Australian company, focusing on creating works about the ordinary interests of every day life. Intimacy is their newest  installment in this journey into the ordinary or sometimes not so ordinary and is based on a series of real conversations with strangers. Each of the strangers we meet throughout the evening has their own individual oddities; some extreme, some quirky, but all with their idiosyncrasies are trying to find a way to personal narrative.

The first stranger we meet is a history teacher who explains that when dealing with history we are really just dealing with stories. Stories that were originally told not by historians, but by average individuals, and whenever someone is telling a story they cannot help but have their feelings become part of the narrative. When telling our own stories, it’s the same.

The man who does the public bird impersonations believes he is giving joy to the public as he “flies” around them. But there are people who cross the street when they see him and he does not understand why.

The man who fantasizes about having relationships with friends, but whom would never actually attempt a real relationship with them because they would never be as good as the fantasy, is unaware he is alone.

The girl who can’t sleep and wishes she could, does not see that  she wears her insomnia as a badge of honor.

One of the few set pieces is an electronic ticker tape that reads “Hello, Excuse me….Good bye”. These are the things said when we do not stop to find out more about the strangers that cross our paths. Intimacy is what happens when we do stop and sit and ask questions and allow the time for the person to say, “Wait, you know what, I do have more to say about that.” Then we get their history, their tale, their not so ordinary story.

The performances in Intimacy are beautiful, honest and sublime, as is the play.

INTIMACY – Directed, Written and Performed by Adriano Cortese, Written and Performed by Beth Buchanan, Patrick Moffatt, Written by Raimondo Cortese, Paul Lum
Sound Design by David Franzke; Based on Set Design by Anna Tregloan; Based on Lighting Design by Niklas Pajanti; Video by Keri Light; Beth’s Dance Choreography by Alison Halit
See more at:   INTIMACY Ranters Theatre (US Premiere from Australia); Intimacy is part of PS122’s Coil Festival. The festival runs until January 17th.