A Pi Provocateurs Presentation
Produced by Curtain Razors
created by Johanna Bundon, Jayden Pfeifer, & Lee Henderson
Peter Tripp, a once-celebrated radio DJ, performed a publicity stunt in 1959 wherein he broadcast continuously, for 201 hours, from a glass booth in Times Square. This act was his undoing—he suffered psychological complications from prolonged sleep deprivation, and his increased fame made him a target for investigators who would indict him for commercial bribery in the “payola” scandal of 1960.
Tripp figures as an aspirational (and cautionary) figure in our current thinking around arts practice. We find rich territory in the metaphor of the radio broadcast—the host sends performative energy into literal thin air, not knowing whether it is being received by listeners. Exhaustion acts as a character in Tripp’s story, as the ever present wolf-at-the-door threatening to consume the performer while simultaneously motivating his gimmick.
-Bundon, Pfeifer, Henderson
Untitled Peter Tripp Project is a physical and poetic interpretation of Tripp’s dilemma, created by artists Johanna Bundon, Jayden Pfeifer, and Lee Henderson, and performed by this trio and artist Tess Degenstein. This work highlights the natural interdisciplinarity of performance by composing an atmosphere that activates space, breath, gesture, voice, light, and sound with equal importance. Endurance-based movement, improvisational and written text, image projection, radio frequency programming, and the fracturing/looping of sound recordings conjure hallucination, fugue states, and doppelgånger-paranoia. The work is imaginative and sensation-rich, and aspires to affect the collective nervous system of its audience through the performers’ embodiment of these heightened states of presence.
Audiences encounter aspects of ‘Peter’ (or an imagined facsimile thereof) as they are variously inhabited and shed by the performers over the course of the piece. This multitudinous portrayal enacts the altered forms of consciousness a sleep-deprived performer experiences. Narrative, in its broadest sense, is present, but steps aside to allow visual metaphor to lead the conversation.
This ensemble of artists moves fluidly between the roles of performer and technician, activating the performance space for one another. They work in relay to create the images and performance actions, handing off the metaphorical baton to keep the momentum of both the technical aspects and performative actions. And, they enter the arena of Tripp’s myth to research their personal relationships to themes of exhaustion, public failure, and loneliness.
Dates: May 4 - 6, 2023.
Times: 7:30pm evening performances on May 4, 5, and 6th. 2pm matinee on May 6.
Run Time: 75 minutes, no intermission.
Location: LOCATION ANNOUNCEMENT!
We’re working in “The Ballroom”, a newly reopened space at 395 Kingsway, right next to the 12 Kings Pub. Look for the bright yellow Pi Theatre banner, and a staff member will be there to usher you inside.
Tickets: $25, including service fees.
* if you have financial barriers which make it difficult to access this event, please do not hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you arrange a ticket free of charge.
Created and performed by Johanna Bundon, Jayden Pfeifer, and Lee Henderson.
Documentation by Shelby Fenlon and Lee Henderson
Produced by Curtain Razors, Regina
This performance includes flashing lights during extended sequences, and contains sounds which may be loud, sudden, or ongoing. The audience is free to move around the performance space. If you require a seat we are happy to accommodate, with advance notice.
If you have any questions about specific content or would like to request a seat for the performance, please send a message to Libby via email at email@example.com and she'll be happy to help.
Image credit: Lee Henderson