‘Tigers, Tarot and the Process of Storytelling’ at banished? Productions This Friday @7:30 PM & 9:15 PM /Buy 1 Get One Free Offer

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“We wanted to blur the lines a little between performance and reality,” said lead devisor, Rachel Hynes, “and everybody likes a good mystery.” If you attend banished? productions latest work, TYGER, that’s exactly what you’ll get, a performance that dances between the real and the abstract. TYGER plays on one night only with two performances at 7:30pm and 9:15pm at the Hillyer Art Space in Dupont as part of the Soapbox Series.

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Audience members will attend the last meeting of DC theatre collective No Inglés as they try to say goodbye to disappeared collective member, Gabby. “The collective is gathering other people whose family and friends have been disappeared for a ritual goodbye dinner,” says Hynes. “As you’re escorted into the designated meeting location, we’ll sing, eat, and praise our missing collective member Gabby.”

Union StationThe performance includes live tarot readings, an academic lecture series, choreographed dances to 80’s pop tunes and of course, tigers.

We traced the changing significance of tigers—as myth, as power, as longing, as disappearing through history and began to see the tiger as metaphor for self and the human race. It often signifies things that we can’t recognize or acknowledge as parts of ourselves. The tiger is a potent image.”

TYGER began last August in a small room inside of an old church in Columbia Heights. A group of collaborators, including devisor Rachel Hynes and Howard University theatre professor, Otis Ramsey-Zoe, read Jose Rivera’s play Brainpeople, but wanted to dig deeper into the play’s themes about loss, parents, death, ritual, healing and tigers.

“Through collective storytelling about loss, romance, and changing bad habits, we began to piece together a tale that understood our habits as manifestations of old losses, the holes we carry through out life and try to fill,” Hynes explains. Drawing from the traditions of tarot and Puerto Rican Vudu, the writings of Jose Rivera, Jorge Luis Borges and Roland Barthes, the devisers began to weave together a narrative that bandied back and forth between the intellectual, the spiritual, the intuitive and the desperate.

At the center of the drama is the disappearance of a woman named Gabby. Member of renegade DC Theatre Collective No Inglés, Gabby mysteriously disappeared one day, leaving her fellow collective members to pick up the pieces, solve the mystery and heal their pain.

banished?’s company philosopher, Otis Ramsey-Zoe, together with lead deviser Rachel Hynes, brought together DC creatives, and TYGER performers Louis Davis, Jenna Zhu and Emily Gilson, Scenographers Natalie Gallagher and Swedian Lie, and banished?’s founding technical director Niell Duval to build tinker, lecture, sing and re/create the performances of No Inglés as research for the performance. They will be staging No Inglés’s last meeting, as the final few members try to acknowledge that Gabby is never coming back.

If you’ve ever had to say goodbye, had a person disappear from your life or ever come face to face with a personal tiger, banished? invites you to share in this performance and say goodbye for the last time.

This article is by banished? productions.

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TYGER plays this Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm and 9:15 pm at the Hillyer Art Space-9 HIllyer Court, NW, in Washington, DC. Tickets are available here.