Best Life is a new work in development for Theatre Replacement that is intended to be performed by an audience, for each other, utilizing a theatre of objects. The objects are domestic machines that come from the landscape of the suburbs. In our work on this project so far, we’ve found these machines to be rich with different narratives and associations, all of them surprisingly personal and yet, collective, specific and shared. We’re interested in drawing upon the iconography of the North American suburb for its heightened sense of isolation that moves so easily into intimacy, for its Everyday-ness, and for its relational nature.
What if these objects — the machines of suburbia — could whisper to us the stories that they are caring for? They are ‘companions’ for the audience, everyday ‘R2D2s’ that will teach us how to perform the show together. The machines interact with each new audience in each new location, and their relationship to them will become a vital part of the performance. Their bodies, associations and identities will reveal new information as they interact with the machines and each other. Scenes will emerge between two people — one holding a radio up, the other tenderly ironing a shirt. Monologues broadcast from a Nintendo switch, played by a grandmother. A rant delivered by leaf blower from a teenager cleaning up confetti. An origami of domestic artifacts, activated by an audience, for an audience, to build a shared narrative of longing during this moment.
With Best Life, we are interested in the suburbs for reasons that are both deeply personal, socio-cultural and socio-political. And we’re interested in machines for reasons that are personal, anthropological, archaeological and ecological.
Created by Maiko Yamamoto in collaboration with: Leah Weinstein, Remy Siu, Keely O’Brien and Arthi Chandra. With special guest stars Cindy Mochizuki and Kyle Loven. Premiering in fall 2022.
For more info about Best Life, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Drawings by Keely O’Brien
Photo by Cindy Mochizuki