In , she took me back so tenderly, banished? productions has created a 360 degree feast for the senses exploring loss, grief, and the fleeting nature of shared experience.
Produced at the new Rhizome DC, a house turned community art space in Takoma; this is a truly unique, immersive venture. banished? takes only six audience members at a time on a journey throughout the space to experience five short performance pieces nestled in various rooms and corners of the house. They weave together movement, original music, spoken word, projections, and audience interaction into a visceral, affecting evening. Audiences are asked to please touch, speak, and even eat and drink.
I don’t want to give too much away, as I believe walking into the space with no knowledge of what to expect is half of the experience. All five pieces deal with loss, death, grief, and how we say goodbye. Which is especially poignant as this is the company’s final show together. I felt as though I was invited to play a part in a beautiful requiem for the end of banished?.
I was astounded by how intensely my senses were engaged. The nature of the piece led me to open my awareness to all that was happening around me, as there is no doubt each sensation was intentional. The soundscape went beyond music: beans were poured on the floor and scuttled around, metal was clinked on glass. My sight was full of the whirling projections and subtle, precise movements of the performers. So much so, that when a door was opened to outside, the smells, sights, sounds and heat of the DC summer sunset were almost overpowering. And an effective reminder that our beautiful Earth, too, is dying if we don’t start taking better care of it.
, she took me back so tenderly,
Produced by banished? productions
Details and tickets
This piece is truly a sum of its, at times disparate, parts, so I find it difficult to single out standout performers or designers. You can sense that this was a real team effort. The technical elements were expertly done. Each piece flowed seamlessly from room to room, never breaking my sense of curiosity at what I might find next. The production does require the ability to go up and down stairs and has some long periods of standing. A few chairs are available for those who wish to sit.
Most of all, I’d advise that this piece requires an open heart and mind and the capacity to allow yourself to be taken on a journey with the performers. I am sad to have just discovered banished? on the eve of it’s departure, but in many ways, , she took me back so tenderly, has taught me to appreciate the beauty of the impermanence of things.
I wholeheartedly recommend making the trip to Takoma and allowing yourself to have an experience unlike any you will ever see again.
, she took me back so tenderly , Chief Creative Mind: Carmen C Wong. Directors: Carmen C. Wong and Ouida Maedel. Featuring: Stefanie Quinones Bass, Teresa Braun, Rachel Hynes, Ouida Maedel, Carrie Monger, Ayodamola Okunseinde, Jane Claire Remick, Carmen C. Wong. Set and Lighting Consultant: Levia Lew. Sound and Technical Consultant: Gordon Nimmo-Smith. Stage and Production Manager: Susie Pamudji. Dramaturg and Philosopher: Otis Ramsey-Zoe. Installation Designer: Jane Claire Remick. Costume Consultant: Glynnis Vance. Audience Interaction Consultant: Abby Zan. Produced by banished? Productions. Reviewed by Sarah Scafidi.