The Man Whistling Tunes The Piano

ROLES: Co-Director, Co-Writer, Lighting Designer, Performer, Co-Producer, Sound Designer

Presented as part of Red Eye Theatre’s Works In Progress Festival.

Photos by Matt Gorrie.

Program Notes:
“You often feel as if you have to justify yourself to other people. Agree…or…Disagree” –
The performance 600 whale is presenting this evening was generated from a long, meandering, slow growth process.“The Man Whistling Tunes The Piano” started with conversations; about our selves, identities, aliens, death, game shows, personality tests, TED Talks, mycology, poop.We formally started rehearsals with a script, then built the piece by constructing irrelevant and irreverent images. By mashing these images together, we found the meanings in the middles – making things intentionally and holding on to the unintentional, trying to understand by letting ourselves not understand. Technical elements such as costumes, lighting, and sound helped us build an internal logic of the piece. Performative elements such as duration, comedy, absurdity, physicality, and emotional affect helped us understand our individual rituals in the logic. The unification of all these elements formed a bizarre, transcendent, stupid, insightful world to live in on stage.
The members of 600 Whale all have theatrical backgrounds, studied theatre in college, and work in various capacities as professional theatre artists, but we have only started finding our collective theatrical voice as a means of expressing the mythologies we see in the world.
600 Whale thanks everyone involved in this year’s festival for forming a mycelial network of support and growth.”

600 WHALE searches for a concrete understanding of the self, of our selves, of the self as a concept. Their piece is a clinical trial for a new performative medicine, drawing inspiration from experiences with doctors, parents, stories and the world at large. 600 WHALE (Søren Olsen, Ross Orenstein, Jeff Shockley, and Paul Stucker) is a collaborative exploration of performance vis a vis theatre. Simultaneously drawn to and repelled by the formal practice of theatre, 600 WHALE is focused on questioning and innovating around ambience, presence, and how we pretend.