Quick Fictional Interview Performance Text Example


My Pineapple is Your Fog Horn

by Ellen Redbird

(An interviewer and a performance writer sit in beanbag chairs on stage, shifting every so often to find a better position, which is never quite found. A giant flying saucer lamp hangs above them, illuminating them as they converse.)

Interviewer:  Many of your pieces involve asking for audience participation. For instance, in “My Pineapple is Your Fog Horn” you ask five audience members to come on stage to help you shape the text through movement with props.

(Five audience members climb on stage. They have been asked to cooperatively lift a large mixing bowl, acting as if it is heavy. They slowly bring the bowl toward the interview session as the performance writer speaks.)

Performance Writer:  By coming on stage to perform certain unusual tasks with me, I want the audience to challenge my self-perception, to act as a fun house mirror, so that my next otherwise-scripted lines of poetry/instruction take an improvisational turn that fully embodies—or, in a way, is disembodied by—the moment.

(During the performance writer’s speaking, the five audience members hold out the bowl to the performance writer, as if to silently ask for free beauty tips. Though there is no ringtone, the interviewer takes a cell phone out of pocket to answer a call but only nods periodically in response to the unknown caller. This phone conversation continues until the end of the interview.)

Performance Writer:  Though this might be a selfish reason for my inviting the audience to participate…

(The performance writer, still talking, puts something invisible in the bowl.)

Performance Writer:  …I hope it also gives them an opportunity to move the performance in directions they want to go.

(The five audience members hoist the bowl high over the performance writer’s head.)

Performance Writer:  This can cause some confusion, as the participants might tug in opposition to each other or feel lost as to which cue to follow.

(The five audience members overturn the bowl, showering the performance writer with small scraps of paper shaped like glittering eyes or worry dolls. The performance writer is unfazed, continuing to speak. The five audience members do whatever they want. The interviewer gets up and walks away.)

Performance Writer:  But it could result in a collective response that opens us up to explore a level of honesty we didn’t know we could reach, however surreal it feels at the time.