Rise Descend Rise
Performance Works NorthWest, 777-1907
March 10-11, 24-25, $5-$10

Local actor/writer, Rebecca David, has self-produced her own original, one-woman show based on the life of ceramics artists, Beatrice Wood. Intrigued by her tenacity and fascinated by her subject matter, I spoke with her about her upcoming show.

So why this ceramics artist? Why Beatrice Woods?

She had a really interesting life. She lived to be 107, and didn't start doing ceramics until she was 40. She grew up in wealth and was raised to be a debutante, but she totally rebelled. She really struggled, especially in that time period when the choices for women were get married... or nothing. I really admired that.

How does Beatrice show up in this work

It goes back and forth between her life and my life. You can tell how I've used her to explore my own life. I'll talk about my life in prose and then I'll use Beatrice in poetry to expose what was going on for me emotionally at the time. I just love poetry as a performer and I love listening to it, because it's not linear... it's kind of an experience.

So is your show nonlinear?

My show is pretty linear, but only in the storytelling aspect of moving, going somewhere. There are cycles. It's called Rise Descend Rise because I wanted a feeling of breath moving in; breathing in and breathing out. As myself, I sit and I speak in prose, and I don't move, and then as Beatrice I use the whole stage to tell the story. As I see it, I'm telling this story as the narrator, and the parts with Beatrice are like pictures in a book, and the pictures are poetry.

Will you be doing ceramics on stage?

No, I'm miming them. A friend of mine says I paint the words, I kind of describe what it's like in the words to make a point... the sticky fingers... muddy hands sweeping... so it's kind of in the words. It has sort of evolved that I, Rebecca, am sort of creating a vessel, an alchemy of figuring out who I am by doing this play. Like the act of creating the play is like trying to figure out who I am. Like forming a bowl. I like that feeling of forming something.

What's next?

I applied this show to the New York Fringe Festival and I'm moving to New York in May, so I'm hoping to get into the fest, and then even if I don't I'll either produce this there, or I'll submit it to some more festivals.