In 2016, Grottesco began work on a play with 5 equal creators and no leader. This was the company’s purest ensemble since the 1984 two-person play, The Insomniacs. Some were tickled by complicated ideas and spectacular imagery. Others yearned for simplicity. A subdued clowning emerged along with buffoonery, dance, and slow-motion. The ensemble mixed all of these passions and more into the new piece. But what was the story?
We were creating in the shadow of the 2016 presidential campaign, unable to keep current affairs out of our discussions. And then a Carl Sagan quote emerged: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
Four armchair experts show up to speak at a panel. Each is speaking at their first panel, unaware that the others are not speaking on the same topic. The moderator never shows. They wait. Along with the audience. Tensions rise. Eventually, their unsustainable world tips and a Rube Goldberg chain of events propels them back to the beginning of the universe.
The text was last but when it finally came time to write, we wrote in google docs. As one actor sweated out the writing of a clever dialogue, another worked behind them altering or replacing it altogether.
Video Cameramen: David Aubrey, Marc Romanelli, Craig Hansen.
Sound: James Becker,
Edited by Lightningwood Productions
“What do you do when you don’t know what to do?”
After The Moment of YES!, we explored what it feels like to not know what to do. (once again, Grottesco’s work is a bit too prescient)
So we sent our characters (and our audience) on a journey to figure it all out. They flailed around in the universe, nature, economics, and then they found themselves back where they began. Is space-time circular? Are TV game shows really about winners and losers? Did we discover what to do when you don’t know what to do? Probably not, but we shared some humanity…. and there were some apples, so we made Pie.
This was a profound experience for me as a creator and theater maker. Our ensemble worked together to engage some beautiful and challenging ideas — creation myths, the hero’s journey, the twelve stages of grief — then created stunning theatrical images. We had a hell of a good time making it and sharing it too.” Kent Kirkpatrick