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This “artistic blind date” demands an open mind. From the moment you walk into the rehearsal space, you’re slightly confused. There are no seats and no real show description, so you’re not exactly sure you’re even in the right place. Then the show begins, or you think it’s begun. Three people enter the not-entirely-dark room. They begin to walk around, apparently looking to meet up with friends that arrived earlier. Within a few minutes they’re slightly undressed. The performance has begun.
Perspectivoyage: The Mann Bobb McCauley Experience isn’t really about anything. It doesn’t have a message. The story doesn’t really start until a third of the way through. It opens with a tape of the performers discussing what the show could be about. Then the story of a couple of lonely souls walking to the Grand Canyon begins. Then it ends.
Following the performance was a Q and A with the three performers/creators of the piece. This glimpse into the creative process made the work much more thought-provoking, even if they weren’t trying to do that. The audience learned that they were randomly matched, spent a total of 52 hours creating the work, had no message to push, that their only starting point was a work by David Hockney and the score was from Austrian composer Wolfgang Seierl’s album Birds Only. And we learned: The piece exists for the sake of existing. It’s easy to initially dismiss as pointless, but It actually has a lot going on.
I didn’t know the piece was about art for the sake of art. I didn’t know that the music, which is a great mix of 1950s sci-fi and Spaghetti Western, wasn’t commissioned for the show. I didn’t know each performer was accomplished in their own field (theater, dance, and painting). I’m glad I now know these things. You too may not know what’s going on, but luckily, the artists are more than happy to answer all your inquiries.
“Perspectivoyage” runs June 18 at 3 p.m., June 21 at 8 p.m., June 26 at 6 p.m., and July 2 at 6 p.m. at Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. $10.