Which of my following sightings from today at MacArthur Park wasn’t a staged performance?
a. A woman using only a thimble to pass water between two buckets, set apart at each side of a tunnel entrance.
b. Two redheads and a brunette playing Scrabble, but conspiratorially asking “what is wrong with her?” of the occasional passerby.
c. A forty-something lady reaching into the rip in the crotch of her jeans, rubbing herself and giggling, “I like this!”
d. A woman looking over the lake with an open umbrella over her shoulder, apparently in mourning.
e. A paddle boat wandering the lake carrying a banner reading: “Be Famous – 235 Miles”.
I’ll never tell which one wasn’t part of the show, Week 39 of the 365 Plays/365 Days series.
The audience to any of three one hour “performances” throughout the day were invited to Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe to read “the scripts” before hand. Five snippets of plays were being acted out live amidst the normal weekend activities at the park in what resulted as a sort of hybrid performance/installation art. Anyone just walking through MacArthur Park probably would have thought nothing of the performers, and without some idea of the script requirements it likely would have been difficult to spot what was performance, and what was just normal human action in the middle of Los Angeles.
Assembled by Christine Berry, aka Smart Gal Productions, the decision to set the plays around MacArthur Park was an ingenius incentive to show off a part of the city most of us only see from our car windows. As an added incentive, Mama’s gave 25% to anyone who could show a bus or subway ticket used to come to the event.
Clifford at Asymptotia has more details of how the show came together and his review of Saturday’s performance (full disclosure, my girlfriend was in today’s cast). For more local coverage of the 365 Days/365 Plays series, check out Zach Behren’s reviews at LAist.
Correction: In my initial posting I incorrectly identified Clifford as part of the cast.