arose 

Fever Theater at the Goldsmith Building Performance Lab

I could tell you what happens in Fever Theater's arose, but it wouldn't really matter. I can tell you that you'll arrive not quite knowing what to expect. You'll leave not quite knowing what you saw. And when you try to put words to it and figure it out, the only thing you'll be able to put your finger on is that you were thoroughly engaged the entire time you were there.

The piece is "informed and inspired by" the writings of Ukrainian-born, Brazilian-identified writer Clarice Lispector, whose metaphysical questions sound a lot like 1960s German theater—except that, instead of abusing the audience, Lispector's queries caress it. Trying to capture the "now-instant," Fever has asked themselves why they do this work: What does it mean to them as performers and to us as audience, and can there really, truly, be any kind of shared experience? From anyone else, these questions would come off as nothing more than tedious navel-gazing. But in Fever's hands, trying to answer these questions becomes its own unique exploration of space, movement, and sound—the very process of answering the questions becomes the answer itself.

If this sounds a little woo-woo, well, that'd be because it is. But, amazingly, Fever manages to work the esoteric with a total lack of pretension—in asking the questions of themselves, they're also asking the audience. Our participation, engaged observance, and surprised laughter are integral parts of this exploration.

With only the loosest narrative frame, arose is a series of moments, sounds, and motions. Flashes of color, bits of song, communal and individual movement. Fever manages to captivate our visceral desire for rhythm, color, and repetition—as well as the higher, lighter part of us that can recognize ridiculousness but adore it all the same.

In their program notes they write, "Theater is an agreement between a group of people to gather in a room and bring every moment into sharp focus." This is exactly the kind of raw, refreshing theater-going experience we need in this town. You may not be able to say exactly what you saw, but you'll be glad for the opportunity to try.

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