Laura takes a trip

Two days ago I came back from a vacation in London, and before I left, Felipe told me that I was going to fall in love with the city. And as always, he was right. London is bursting with culture and art. Even though I missed a week's worth of rehearsals for Event End, I still had Found Theater Company constantly on my mind. From Shakespeare, numerous Rock 'n' Roll legends, to countless museums, everywhere I explored had the means for deep inspiration. (I even found a used copy of Peter Brook's, "The Empty Space" for only a pound!) Needless to say, I was beside myself with the vibrations of every great artist, past and present, that had passed through this beautiful city. Being surrounded by so much art, I was able to put into perspective what it is that inspires me most when relating to my own work: words. Now, this may seem silly, but when I was wandering around the Tate Modern, it wasn't the paintings and prints that were reaching out to me, but the descriptions and philosophies of the works and of the artists themselves. And again, all these quotes had me thinking about Found and what it is that we do. In a country (now I'm referring to the States), that is run by capitalism and corporations, everything must be defined. I've realized this to be true when trying to explain what Found is to inquiring minds, and more times than not, I feel like a stuttering idiot. But people want to know the kinds of "plays" we do. So, how does one explain the process of meditating and researching on a broad topic then creating movement and sound based short performance pieces inspired by this new-found knowledge and then improvising all the individual pieces we've created with the entire ensemble of 14 other people? Even I have to admit that it sounds like a different language sometimes. Well it was there at the Tate Modern that I learned about the artists who were doing/did similar, expressionist art, if you will, and it helped me to verbally wrap my mind around the kind of the art that we as a company make. So, now I want to share with you some of the quotes that hit it on the head for me and I can only hope it will help others to understand as well:"Expressionism sought a new artistic language to express their sense of spiritual and intellectual dislocation. Friedrich Nietzsche was especially influential, encouraging artists to incorporate the instinctive and the irrational in their work.""Gerhard Richter paintings were built up in successive layers. The initial composition is all but obliterated in the process, allowing [...] to develop in ways that cannot have been anticipated."Clyfford Still on his own work: “If properly made visible they speak for themselves.”"Stanley Spencer’s paintings are always about the complicated relations between solid flesh and the spirit.""Diane Arbus built up relationships of trust with her subjects to create portraits of astonishing intimacy.""Joseph Beuys saw creativity as central to human existence, and his art was rooted in processes of change and transformation. His sculptures were often based on found objects." And in so many words, what these innovative artists have done, we are doing too. Whether or not a true definition can be tied to it, it is brought on by a passion and a drive of the need to express our deepest desires as human beings in an imperfect world. As Found Theater, we know that nothing is original, but what we are creating is something new. Because it is happening now, in Philadelphia, with a group of young, extremely dedicated artists who have something to share. I don't think The Beatles worked because they had any intention to change the world. I think they worked because they loved and the revolution came after, only because it had to.

-Laura Edoff


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