The voice in the closet is a little bit hard to find. From the front entrance you are lead down halls and through corridors, past racks of lamps and grounded lighting booms, past dressing rooms and background flats. There is a coat rack to hang your outer layers on and there is a table to leave your bags at. It is a bit reminiscent of airport security. The performance takes place in the prop room of the Timms Centre, which is essentially a large room of stuff. Three-level scaffold shelves hold appliances and lamps and old furniture. Ovens to stick your head in. There are more couches on the ground floor, underneath the scaffold-shelves, and you are encouraged to sit on them.
There is a lot of the old technology that seems ancient in today’s world but feels intimate and familiar. There are all sorts of projectors that I’m just old enough to actively remember – slide projectors, overhead projectors, film projectors. Gasmasks, violins, shoes. This could be my grandparents’ attic, and goodness gracious if they ever caught me climbing on top of the dark room to reach the underside of the roof. When my grandparents first lived in Waterloo it was still called Berlin. They changed the name of town after the war.
The whole room makes sound as the performers move through it. The scaffolds creak when you walk on them, and the telephone booth crashes and smashes when you thrash in it. All the performers speak, and once they start they do not stop. It is hard to tell but it seems that they speak loops which evolve as the piece progresses, phrases bumping together and sometimes switching or changing. The film projectors make a constant fluttery noise that fills up your brain and makes the whole thing seem very full when it’s actually very sparse. It’s hard to tell when the noise is there and when it’s not, it mixes in with the words until you’re sort of just surrounded by all this sound. It ebbs and flows, moments of consonance and dissonance with gasps of silence.
I was reminded how much of our every day action is entirely prescribed, and how much of our environment is actively made homogenous, by ourselves no less. Most people rarely visit places like this, and no one moves around like the performers do. It is fantastic to see people moving how they can. I am reminded of the great capacity for diverse action in humanity, our sheer ability to simply do stuff which we so often repress and socialize out of ourselves, sometimes forcibly so. The bad and the good.
The Voice in the Closet
An adaptation of Raymond Federman’s novella
Director & Project Coordinator – Piet Defraeye
Stage Manager – Justine Moelker
Sound Design & Music – Scott Smallwood
Lighting Design – Patrick Arés-Pilon
Film/Art Conceptualization – Gordana Zivkovic
Visual Designer & Technical Assistant – Marko Zivkovic
Arts Contributor – Sylvia Grist
Tuesday, August 28th, 7:00pm
Wednesday, August 29th, 4:30pm
Friday, August 31st, 7:00pm
Admission Cost: FREE