OELBAUM, Yair; ALTHOFF, Kai
There Will Be Buried
There we will be buried is a unique play written and produced by Yair Oelbaum specifically for the Dixon Studio in Southend-on-Sea, the modern auditorium annexed to the town’s famous Palace Theatre. Oelbaum has developed this dramatic piece in New York City since late 2010 with the artist Kai Althoff, and together with a cast including Yedidya Oelbaum, Jessica Polaniecki, Daniel Cowen and Alex Beth, the pair will perform the show’s main characters, Orpah and Lydia, two single mothers who are searching for a lost daughter.
Oelbaum outlines the story as such: ‘The grief that this missing child induces oscillates between the two characters as they blindly sojourn toward their lost idol. Orpah and Lydia are infantile paupers, whose spirits are sustained only through prayer – the only activity that they are truly capable of performing. They swoon endlessly, and are fractured into several simultaneous accounts of the same event. Their characters and wills are siphoned into recordings, mental scripts that precipitate their every action. Like any eager child would, they stray from these scripts in their lust for true voices and sweets. Everything that crosses Orpah and Lydia’s path remains with them for all time; nothing is lost, nothing is left, nothing is re-covered.’
The characters in There we will be buried are fractured and represented not only through the physical bodies of each actor on stage, but also via pre-recorded dialogue and video containing facial expressions. In this manner, each character is based on the degree to which these disparate elements are interpreted as a composite. Since these may differ in tone, There we will be buried presents an inherently broken narrative, incapable of telling a single authoritative concrete story. Furthermore, the characters and roles depicted are based on the real life roles and interactions of the players, ultimately reducing the distance between perceived character and the players’ true selves. [publisher's note]