An acrobat and a creative writer who met on their first day as students at UBC joined forces 10 years later to create a unique theatrical performance.
Esther: I’m 27, and I am a professional circus performer.
Meredith: I’m 28, and I’m a writer…. OK. So we met on our first day at UBC in this Imagine group… it [introduces] you to people that you have classes with…
Esther: …so you’re not totally alone in this enormous university.
Meredith: Ya, exactly.
Esther: I was studying to be a speech therapist… But it was maybe like 10 years later that we first thought about collaborating creatively. It seemed like an opportunity for us to do something that would allow us to bring together these two, sort of, different art forms in a way that we could experiment. I think that’s one of the reasons that the piece we came up with is quite unique. This is not a traditional theatre piece, it’s not a traditional play, it’s not even a traditional circus piece.
Meredith: We started just kind of from broader ideas and, like, themes about movement and age and how you experience time as you grow up.
Esther: And so you see one performer on stage throughout the whole show and I’m using two different circus apparatuses – there’s one which is a vertical rope that just hangs from the ceiling and then I also do slack-wire walking. At the same time as you’re watching this movement, you’re also hearing…
Meredith: …narrative and music. An original composition.
Give it all up for a question, not an answer
A beginning, not an end
This is just to say if I could explode into light, I would
I don’t want it to end… not really
I want to roll it around in my hands
I want to stay a while
How do you make it mean something?
How do you make it matter?
Esther: We went in to this with the assumption that this would be something we would create and we would just ‘have it’ in our back pockets. Yes, I would need to spend quite a bit of time making sure that I remember the choreography and getting back into shape to perform a 45-minute show, but we have it now. It feels pretty good to just have this big thing that we can bust out. I think that we’ll continue to do this kind of work together. I had a really great experience working with Meredith and that felt really good particularly because it was kind of a large, ambitious item.
Meredith: Ya. It was pretty special and unique and people came and we were like, whoa, I’ve never seen anything like that before. But it also just made me a lot more confident about my own work and the power of exhibiting something that you’ve done and putting it out there.