PRE-FRINGE Profile: The Crossroads Project

SHOW TITLE: The Crossroads Project
PRODUCER: Aletheia Company
HAILING FROM: France
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Welcome to the crossroads, a charged space where the phantoms of memory ask how we continue to love, create and laugh under the influence of controlling forces. An atmospheric and provocative performance.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: Science-fiction *and* multimedia? Those who understand the appeal don’t require an explanation: those who require an explanation will never understand the appeal.

Just who do you think you are, anyway?

 My name is Anaïs Nony, I am a stage director who moved from Paris two years ago to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. I spent most of my childhood following my mother who was a costume designer for theater productions. Emerged in this artistic community, I developed a curiosity for appearances and how oneself plays with multiple identities. I’m interested in using the theater stage as a provocative force to bring the audience, at least during the time of a show – maybe longer – into a position of considering other possibilities of being in this world.

So what’s the big idea?

This show is an adaptation of a play written under dictatorship, where neither art nor experiencing life beyond the strict rules of the state was allowed. This is an investigation into how we manage to find ways to love and create under political, technological and money power. The theater stage, as a shared live experience, is a potent place to directly question the freedom to create and express at a time of ongoing surveillance and oppression.

How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?

I am interested in how we choose to present ourselves to the world; what is intentional, and what is beyond our control. We develop little boxes to order the multiplicity of our identity. We are queer, straight, white, native, students, workers, alien, foreigners, and so on…we are fragmenting ourselves. The more we try to reach people through this fragmentation, which is intensified through social media and our digitally constructed identities, the more we stand alone – unless you find ways to embrace this multiplicity. I am always so touched and full of hope when I truly meet someone, and the theater is a space that I’ve found to meet people and question what we want to keep real.

Why should I care?

This project is a collective creation, a combination of theater, live music, and moving image projections. The actresses are playing with different interfaces – plastic, film, flour, puppet, lasso, not to mention humor – to tell what remains of people we meet, we love, we care about. The stage looks like a post-apocalyptic world mixed with a Beckettian story.

Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.

Woman poet love
Keep free living memory
Crossroads choke still here

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