Aradhana Tiwari invited a core group of actors to her home to discuss continuing the experimental work they had been doing in a less focused and more playful atmosphere. 2:22 stands for two hours and twenty two minutes of time spent bi-weekly exploring themes and topics that interest the artists, actors, dancers and musicians participating. As an example of a prompt she suggested a word as arbitrary as "stain." A dance, scene, music or image could all be created using that prompt.
Five actors arrived and sat around the dining room table discussing theater and modern day divas. When the time was right we all went into the studio space which was a room perhaps 15 feet by 20 feet. I joined the actors in doing viewpoints which began simply with everyone walking the room in a grid pattern. As we progressed I became more aware of how the people around me were moving through the space. When we were asked as a group to form either a clump or a line, we began to think as a group. Imitation and repetition had me mimicking dancers moves and at times we all moved as a flock. Two people had never done this exercise before and I had only tried it once, but we all learned fast. The important thing was to get past the notion of right or wrong. What was important, was that the six people involved became an ensemble.
The second half of the evening was more challenging for me and it involved improvising scenes. The more people involved in a scene tended to make it harder to expand and explore the possibilities. What often resulted was an individual facing a crowd. The scenes that flourished when improvised were usually between two people. The number of scenarios explored was mind boggling. We became children, Navy Seals, criminals, campers, shamans... It was fun and playful but put me way outside my usual comfort zone. I am an observer, someone who takes time to quietly sketch. Thus initiating some conflict or dramatic interpersonal exchange isn't what I am used to. I am certain that by interacting in the experience, I learned much that might not have been gained with a simple sketch.
2:22 is an ongoing theatrical experiment. If you are interested in experiencing the fun, contact Aradhana Tiwari at Play the Moment Productions. There is no cost and you will experience an evening of childlike playful creativity.