Man-about-town Julius Ferraro has been conducting interviews with some of our SoLow artists. We'll be featuring them here on the blog leading up to and through the Festival. Thank you Julius! And don't forget, you can view the entire lineup of artists in the full SoLow listings!
ENERGY, SPECIFICITY AND RELAXATION
Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. Donald Fatumwright is bound to follow six regulations for a year. Tick-tock, tick-tock—will Donald cook under the pressure? Jordan Mottram’s first ever solo work (hooray!), A Man and His Bunker, explores time and isolation. Jordan talks to the SoLow Fest about multidisciplinary theater and fear.
SoLow Fest: Tell us a little about your previous work.
Jordan Mottram: I have had the usual actor and theatre-artist training (Stanislavsky and basic design) from Temple University. Through Emmanuelle Delpech, Felipe Vagara, and David Ingram, I was introduced to some interesting storytelling techniques, rooting from the work of Jacques LeCoq, Jerzy Grotowski, and Michael Chekhov.
For the past three years, I have worked with Found Theater Company, a experimental collective that explores the creative process and constructs performance through music, ensemble work, and physical actions. I also work throughout the city as an actor and, occasionally, as a puppeteer/puppetry designer.
SF: What are some challenges that arose while creating this piece?
JM: I wrote a script with no words. I also use a TV that is huge part of the plot. This is the first time I've used a TV. I've never done a solo piece. That, in itself, is a very exciting and horrifying thought.
SF: What are you doing in this show that you wouldn’t have done if not for SoLow?
JM: I probably wouldn't have created a solo show. The Festival really gives you the opportunity to do anything you want. And, the registration is free. If you want to do something, there's absolutely nothing stoping you.
SF: Was there an event, or series of events, which inspired you to create this show?
JM: A good friend of mine told me about a job offer he had with the Coast Guard. If he accepted, he would have had to stay on a boat in the arctic for a long time, like a year, and stay inside the boat for the duration of his stay. Lots of money and lots of time.
I am also interested and inspired by the way performance art and experimental theatre treat their audiences. I find myself seeing, constantly, a similar relationship between the two, performers and audience, of those mediums. I want to experiment with that relationship.
SF: Tell us a bit about that relationship, and how it’s reflected in A Man and His Bunker.
JM: I notice that there is a strong need for the performers/team to directly affect their audience with the work. This can be displayed in a piece that is a direct address to viewers, or some form of physical movements aimed at audience members, trying to share something with them. I believe it is crucial to have a need to share with the audience in an effective manner, but I would like to see the delivery less forceful and needy.
That's one thing I explore in Bunker. I'm treating the audience similarly to that of the usual proscenium theatre, like flies on walls or phantoms haunting the space. But then, the shit hits the fan. Or, maybe it won't. It's an experiment.
SF: Many artists are talking about the risks they take with their SoLow piece. What's something you do in A Man and His Bunker which is truly scary for you?
JM: There's not too many scary things going on for me in this piece. Just parts that make me nervous. The piece requires an extreme amount of energy, specificity, and relaxation. I'm at a point in the process where any frightening idea transforms into an exciting question.