An elaborate exploration of self-discovery. Examining the roles of actor and spectator in what can only be called a creative exercise of genius with the elements of sex and water combined as one through six performers. This is an unusual but unforgettable theatrical experience unlike any other only to be found at Single Carrot Theatre in their production of Foot of Water. An entirely devised work, created by the company with conceptualized movement and exploratory text, this 60 minute work will open your mind to self-exploration and leave you with a vast number of questions to ponder on your journey home.
The most impressive thing about this performance is the giant fountain construct that consumes the center of the stage. Created by Ryan Dunne and Cat Yard, this massive tower at first appears to be little more than an adult’s playground as the ensemble members take to climbing over it, crawling under it, swinging from it and incorporating it into their playful opening segment of the work. But Dunne and Yard’s design is sheer genius. Shaped almost like a turntable with shower curtains around it and a large opening in the top center, the fountain is devised to have water flowing down from the ceiling. And there is nothing so incredible or magical as when it does; soaking the stage and the performers with a purifying essence.
The performance is not linear and does not follow a specific plot or storyline. It’s about the experience of self-discovery, integrating water and sexuality and being human and being alive into the exploratory concepts of the show. There is a great use of physical repetition throughout the show where many gestures are repeated over and over as if in a trance like state, often from the male performers (Nathan A. Cooper, Nathan Fulton, Aldo Pantoja, an Elliott Rauh).
There are fragments of stories and narratives that flow throughout the piece, often told by Jessica Garrett and then acted out by Alix Fenhagen. Both Garret and Fenhagen have a deeply concentrated energy to their performances; Garrett’s manifesting in her intense facial expressions and Fenhagen’s grounded in her series of full-bodied movements.
There is a constant air of intensity building and building within the show until it reaches its watery climax, and the use of light and darkness, as well as shadows, mingles with their play on sounds, soft and loud, the echoes of water the sounds of running water, dripping water. It is a sensory experience for those watching as the relationship between audience member — as the spectator — and performer — as those in the midst of self-discovery — come together in the performance space.
It is a unique experience that may have convoluted moments, but it is a performance that should be undertaken as being about the discovery and the experience, not about characters or narrative. There’s a lot of water and some wonderfully tasteful male nudity that sets the mind ablaze with deep thought and provocative questions. Foot of Water is not recommended for young audiences as it contains strong themes and is rated ‘R.’
Running Time: One hour with no intermission.
Foot of Water plays through Sunday July 8, 2012 at Single Carrot Theatre – 120 North Avenue in Baltimore, MD. For tickets, call the box office at (443) 844-9253, or purchase them online.