Creating a devised performance from start to finish can take several years, in fact, some may say "it's never complete, we only abandon it." We decided to break our process into phases to share with you as we build. With each phase you witness varying degrees of research, strategy, process, and witness the evolution of the piece. Join us on this Journey!
This is our initial embodied research which typically will reveal the story we wish to tell. This work may be preverbal or with minimal text. It is the emergence of a new path.
We construct and generate elements of the performance throughout all the phases.
Now that the story is revealed we spend this time gathering more research in the attempt to put our puzzle together. This phase of sharing is the most fluid. We don't know which format it will be. It could be a presentation of slides, Q & A or something else.
And now the text floods in...if text want to "be." All the text that has been generated in previous phases takes the shape of a script.
Perhaps we've stripped back, shifted or dug in deeper. We'll only know what this phase is when we get here.
We've adapted the story to it's clearest version.
When we arrive here we present the closest version to finality. Shifts in subsequent phases may occur and continue to be welcomed.
The fundamental Mentalhaus method of creation is interdisciplinary embodiment. Every step of the way the ensemble works to integrate their body into research, design, performance and business resulting in a holistic approach to devising.
Every space we enter contains energy which doesn't exist exclusively in the present. When we meet it with spontaneity, we collide with ghosts and technology, memories and mental health, nature and body in one eternal space. This embodied research examines the collision of body, thoughts, technology, relationships, nature, mental health and the infinite, eternal world that exists between them.
We have closed our premiere Phase 1 performance of Lady M.
In case you missed it, here are some highlights!
"It made my skin crawl, grappling with the inner workings of one's brain and self can be so scary and overwhelming.
You made it
"Magical was the perfect way to describe what I saw and how I felt."
"Beautiful images, love the use of compressed space (so perfect for this moment in our lives!)"
"Viewing Lady M (thank you, thank you, thank you!) was for me a beautiful illustration of the mnemodrama in performance. Your constant manipulation of the fabric, giving it a life of its own as a second character, complimented by the continuous shifting of the viewing field, literally taking us through 360 degrees, and you beautiful foregrounding of light and sound, made this a spellbinding immersive experience. The Lady M puppet worked beautifully and I loved the imagery of the cassette tape (“words, words, words,”) as a symbol of Lady M’s rejection of speech, she can only communicate her anguish through gesture and dance."
"This was a phantasmagoria of visual textures in a contemplative rhythm. Thanks for sharing and transporting us to another place."
"I was engrossed from start to finish."
In 2020, ensemble member Zoe Rose Kriegler-Wenk presented an embodied art film of her research and writing titled "Of Water and Wings" Since then the Mentalhaus ensemble has explored a second phase of development and will continue to build toward a fully-realized production.
This piece was constructed by the Mentalhaus Ensemble for "Virtually Home" in 2020 when our in person rehearsals were halted by the Pandemic. It explores the connections our bodies remember when forced apart.
A physical expression of exhaustion. Summer 2021
"Virtually Home" takes a deep dive into the bipolar mind. What is reality? What's in your head? And what the hell is happening between them?
Now a virtual performance you'll see them in the newly titled "Virtually Home".
This is a short lighting and set test in a space once known as "living room". You can see what else changes at home by catching the live performance of "Virtually Home".