In this beguiling and provocative show, co-creators Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava (Quote Unquote Collective) play two halves of the same woman. Together they sit in a bathtub, singing and speaking in unison. The woman has just lost her mother, and is trying to grieve, as well as prepare for the funeral and eulogy. This process, as expected, involves a lot of sifting and parsing. As the two halves speak we notice divergences from the overlap of their words, and as the piece goes on the cracks in their collective speech widen. These women are one, and they are different: it’s the dilemma of fractured consciousness, one most of us can relate to, but it’s never been expressed quite like this.
Nostbakken and Sadava give bravura performances, their overlaps seamless and their divergences precise. The details are as memorable as the overall conception, with vocal impressions, great singing and some everyday observations that become little epiphanies. With its inward quality and sense of repose, the show honours the privacy that women seek for themselves. The emphasis here is on female assertion and submission, on the boundaries of personal identity, on the many ways in which we divide ourselves as subjects. As seductive as it is intellectual, as relatable as it is strange, this is a true original.
… a sophisticated, nuanced, complex portrait of the woman’s voice. It offers an incisive, humorous, thoughtful, afflictive telling of a narrative that is undeniably true, yet criminally underrepresented.