Santa Fe Playhouse teams with form & concept for micro theater performance “Tongues” from Reykjavík
The Santa Fe Playhouse had already paid for the rights to playwright Steve Yockey’s Reykjavík when the pandemic hit and, in the 16-ish months that have passed since the organization performed something live, things have obviously changed for live performance. But now, under the direction of consummate Santa Fe theater pro Kent Kirkpatrick, the oldest operating theater west of the Mississippi has culled one scene from the show dubbed “Tongues,” which will be performed within form & concept gallery’s ongoing Family Room exhibit.
“The space is LGBTQ artists from across the country who were invited to make objects or images about the importance of queer family of choice and domestic place,” Kirkpatrick tells SFR. “Part of the original concept was that the room would be a place for performance, but of course, the pandemic shut us all down.”
And now, with health orders relaxing, Playhouse Artistic Director Robyn Rikoon worked with Kirkpatrick to select one scene from the show to perform. “Tongues” is the story of two young men new to each other, very much in love, and dealing with how much of themselves to reveal to someone new.
Kikrpatrick and Rikoon tapped actors Gregory J. Fields and Garrett Young to tackle the roles, each a member of Santa Fe nee Chicago theater troupe Exodus, which relocated to town in the midst of the pandemic.
“The gift is that they’re both great actors, and both very well-trained,” Kirkpatrick says. “Truthfully, it’s only a 16-minute play, but it’s a strong piece of writing and they got to the guts of the piece quickly. I’ve told them as artists and creators to just trust the text, to explore it with the audience. It’s been wonderful to see them sink into that.”
“Tongues” makes use of Family Room like it’s one of the cast’s apartment. Limited to only six at a time, the audience becomes an interactive piece of the -puzzle, and Kirkpatrick says they’re encouraged to move about the room during the show. Thus far, he says, they’ve crammed in roughly 96 patrons across each performance day’s four shows—roughly the same as a full house at the Playhouse’s De Vargas Street auditorium. It’s a new way of working made pertinent by public health, but one Kirkpatrick says has revealed powerful lessons for both himself and his actors.
“It makes me think about theater in a completely different way,” he explains. “The actors become part of the art in a different way than they do onstage or onscreen, where there’s distance or -separation from the audience. It’s been fascinating for me to watch and ponder the way this story reflects and has a conversation with the art in the room.”
This final performances of “Tongues” go down this weekend, and you’ll need to act fast to reserve a spot. (Alex De Vore)
Tongues: 12:30, 1 and 1:30 pm Friday, April 23 and Saturday, April 24. Free. form & concept gallery,
435 S Guadalupe St., 780-8312
Down to Earth
Local nonprofit Southwest Roots Music is leaning into Earth Day celebrations with a series of totally free and totally impressive and unique YouTube concert videos from big musical names like Michael Franti, Ani DiFranco and Ordinary Elephant—plus lesser-known artists like musician-activist Sofia Jannok and local heroes Jono Manson, Joe West, Laura Manzanares and others. “We approached artists who are already in the spirit of what we’re looking for, and we’ve asked them not only to play, but to talk about what’s important to them,” says Southwest Roots Music Director Michael Koster. “So between songs, they’re talking about electric cars and experiences with sustainability.” As streaming and video have become the live music norm and musicians create performance videos that stream across the country, Southwest Roots Music’s Earth Day vids are one-of-a-kind and only available through the organization’s YouTube channel. (ADV)
Southwest Roots Music Earth Day Celebration: All Day Thursday, April 22. Free.
Throw the Book At ‘Em
SFR is staffed by a bunch of word nerds who all have their differences when it comes to lit, but who can all agree that one national day celebrating independently owned and operated bookstores can only be a good thing for the people of Earth. We’re talkin’ Independent Bookstore Day (being the last Saturday each April), which rolls around this very weekend and is a great reminder that Santa Fe has some amazing little bookstores. Our top three are easy to love: Garcia Street Books (376 Garcia St., 986-0151), Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse (202 Galisteo St., 9884226) and op.cit. books (157 Paseo de Peralta, 428-0321). Like Record Store Day each year, certain rare, limited or otherwise hard-to-find items become available to the indies. Plus, there’s never a bad reason to shop local when it comes to books. (ADV)
Independent Bookstore Day: All Day Saturday, April 24.
For the Kids
If Independent Bookstore Day didn’t grab you, won’t you please think of the children?! Jay-kay, but seriously, it’s the pits being a kid even when there isn’t a pandemic, so we’ve got something for the little ones: Yuyi Morales, celebrated children’s author and illustrator, creator of Dreamers: Niño Wrestles the World and all-around champ, is joining forces with the Santa Fe Public Library’s Wake Up Story Time with Walter program to give a video tour of her studio, show kids what she’s been working on and otherwise just kind of be a badass library appreciator, writer and friend of the kiddos. This is a bilingual event, too, so score another one for the written word, the printed page and the power of books. Make sure you register through the public library site ahead of time. (ADV)
Wake Up Story Time with Walter: Yuyi Morales: 1 pm Tuesday, April 27. Free.