Keight has me repeat: I am connected… I am alive… LiVEPLAY LiVEPLAY LiVEPLAY
I say it just enough times throughout the course of LiVEPLAY that I believe them. I’ve never been great at being present, mindful, if you will, but Keight Leighn brings something out in me to the point that by the time we are finishing our call, and I murmur a final response, something has stirred in me that I can’t quite explain.
I am my purpose.
It’s such a simple statement, and yet I’d never considered it as truth before now.
LiVEPLAY is the latest from Leighn (bedrumplai, Snow Fridge), who’s well known for a kind of esoteric, improvisational style that is as engaging to some as it is off-putting to others. Her audience is the main driving force behind the narrative – this only works if her guest is willing to make it work along with her.
That said, LiVEPLAY isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s hard to describe the kind of person it is for without experiencing it. You make a call, Leighn, as an ephemeral extension of your own being, answers, and you talk. Leighn very gently guides the conversation, asking pointed questions, a sort of transcendental therapy session. As such, there is a kind of structure here – a bookend that brings the solitary audience member into focused presence within the safe space Leighn has created for them before gently releasing them back into the universe, but it is a tenuous structure at best. You come, you talk about life, the universe, Merkaba – light, spirit, body – there is a warmth to Leighn’s eyes, a calmness.
But is it a play? By basic definition: no. It is a conversation, the kind that can be both confusing and uplifting, upsetting and inspiring. Leighn might be the easiest person in the word to talk to about the most transcendental things. There is an instant trust, a safety in the way in which she holds your gaze that at once comforts you while it’s knifing its way through your defenses. It’s not a play, but it is alive.
Will it work for everyone? Likely not. Leighn’s performance requires a give and take between herself and her audience that may fail to impress those that seek structure or a kind of thread that signifies a plot. Understanding Leighn’s approach to her work, the way she prefers to pull her words from the air rather than a script, will set the appropriate expectations for an audience member. You will be the subject of LiVEPLAY, and you will dictate the course of your own journey – Leighn is just a fragment of your personality that exists to guide you toward a better understanding of yourself.
For lack of a better way to put it: Leighn operates on a different frequency than the rest of us. She is so deeply connected to herself, her art, and by extension her audience that you can’t help but be carried along on the wave of her explosive energy. LiVEPLAY is just that – a wave of feeling. Sometimes frustrating, sometimes confusing, but uniquely Leighn and uniquely you.
A “play” without structure, forcing the audience to be in control, to connect with the performer, who is guiding the action based on intuition – it’s the best definition of experimental improv. What I am on the inside is what connects me to the outside, she has me repeat, and I do feel a connection, to Leighn, and to myself, by the end of LiVEPLAY. Will you? You’ll have to make the call.
LiVEPLAY runs through February 24th, 2019, with custom times available for an additional $10. For tickets, click here.