James Knott Presents… "The Apocalypse In Your Bedroom” Tour

Multi-Media Performance/Installation Theatre

2017


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Thesis Document


This award-winning self-mythologized facade of a rock show incorporates life-scale video projection, original music, gestural choreography, and on-the-go stage props to coalesce into a black-box style theatrical spectacle meets dirty diary exploring the elusive and dichotomous nature of queer identity. With a reliance on the grimy mustard-coloured lights and sequins of 70s glam rock aesthetics, the protagonist travels the mental collapse of a dark night of the soul, searching for purpose in a world that doesn’t care to be purposeful. Themes include rejection, broken promises, wishes on a star, deals with the devil, and packing up to leave with no intention of return; segueing into old photo albums, crying and stitching the tears to your face, and fading into an old morning’s coffee at the dawn of dandelion’s spring. Blazers and boxers are the perfect attire to watch the gaping hole in the sky swallow everything in it’s path, leaving behind the ghost of glitter’s past.


(This project investigates the elusive and dichotomous nature of my identity by exploring heartfelt expression of experience through the subversion of camp theatrics; looking to ‘camp’ as a queer coping mechanism for dejected experience with the capabilities for multi layered readings. Crafted under the guise of a fake rock show, I use illusory spectacle to explore the notion of the performer (and the queer) as a “constant performer”, in which the awareness of being-as-playing-a-role, and of social theatre, culminate in a malleable and ever shifting sense of identity.

Layers of projection, audio, gestural choreography, and stage props coalesce in a black-box style theatrical spectacle, in which set is built and struck on the go. These self-referential stage elements are implemented to simultaneously create and disrupt illusion by bringing awareness to its construction; playing with the tension between the lure of suspended disbelief and shock of awareness. The cyclical construction and deconstruction of illusory spectacle mirrors the performed paradoxical nature of identity.

Through reinterpreted personal histories poetically reimagined the show unveils an underlying narrative of struggle with mental health, identity, and societal acceptance. The degradation of the ‘self’ unfolds in front of the viewer as the spectacle elements of my fantasy chip away to reveal my deteriorating reality.)

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