Life happens because of small movements we make every day over and over again without thinking, movements like picking up the phone, washing dishes, using a pen, walking. At some point all these movements add up to memories, memories to choices and somewhere down the line, in a space we think is far removed from these small movements, are the big decisions that decide our futures. We never question whether deciding to take that job or go back to school is really bound by the same beliefs as pouring a cup of coffee. These are the beliefs that Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman challenged in their very short run of Currency, which played last weekend at Prop Thtr. Currency is a movement-based performance in four short parts. Its opening piece, “Coffee Cup Duet,” reminded me of all those times walking down the street listening to music on my headphones and suddenly realizing that I and the people around me were all moving in some kind of rhythm. All of us completely unaware of the small moments of synchronicity. Lisa and Jeff take those moments and heightened them. From there, Lisa and Jeff continued to expose the everyday moments, often in very funny ways, as beliefs we hold about what is supposed to happen. Time even moves backwards in the final piece, “Homeland.” I spoke with Jeff and Lisa after the performance on their thoughts about Currency and about movement.

On what Currency is about…
It challenges basic beliefs: Time moves forward, gravity goes down.

On Currency’s target audience…
I don’t know that we have a target audience, but if we did it would be people involved in trying to analyze what people do when they do ordinary things, what is taken for granted, what we call “normal behavior.”

On the rules of normalcy…
When someone goes insane, people notice because insanity works toward breaking the rules of normalcy. People who are insane don’t go by those rules anymore. Same thing happens with humor; the rules of normalcy are broken, so everyone laughs.

On the piece “Time and Time Again”…
There’s a proposal in it, which is to treat each moment as being an intersection of numerable possibilities. Acting out those possibilities and behaving that way really requires premeditation and foresight and planning. There is a clear model there for a positive proposal for social change.

On “Homeland” and moving backward…
In life we cannot move backward, we cannot undo the things we have done. So the piece is both true and false. [Lisa] is not really moving backward, but moving in ways we perceive as being backward because we believe that time moves forward and actions only make sense in a particular order.

On what the audience should come away with…
Look at “normal behavior” as an optimistic thing, people can reorganize themselves. Most theatre relies on content to inspire change. We are trying to rely increasingly on the smallest level. How small can you make the reorganization to change people, what is the smallest change?

If you missed Currency because your dance card was full this weekend, Lisa and Jeff will be back next Sunday for a workshop on scoring, graphic notations that add up to a movement composition. This was the same technique used to create Currency. At the workshop, participants will get to make their own studies and try them out. The workshop will be held at Prop Thtr and I encourage everyone to go.

The 2011 Rhinoceros Theater Festival will run until Feb 14, 2011 at Prop Thtr. For a complete list of the upcoming shows, visit curioustheatrebranch.com/rhinofest.

Did you go see the show? What did you think?

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