The Art of Time Travel

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Time travel is dangerous and should never be taken on lightly. This is what I've learned from hours of watching Dr. Who, Quantum Leap and other shows that keep fiddling with the space time thingamajib (I'm looking at you Star Trek). With banished?production's The Circle, participants, and with almost all b?p theater/art you don't observe, you participate, travel through space and time.

The space is Dupont Circle and Mount Vernon Square. Physically, you are in and around the square where the old Carnegie library sits, mentally you are in Dupont Circle. The time is the future and past Dupont and the present day, present time, intersections of 7th , New York and K Streets and the square and that little park across from the square.

The danger is that you can get lost in the future and past of another space that you may stop paying attention to the present day and very present traffic and sidewalk hazards. B?p fools around with your senses, and for me it was my 'aware of my surroundings' sense, the sense where I am aware of the cars and bikes on the street and the people on the sidewalk, and the people hanging out. For me, it was my surroundings that would fade in the background and then fight to come back to the front, like your awake self fights sleep.

B?p 2012 fringe

What my spatial awareness competed against my senses of memory and space. Mentally the audio tour and tour guide (you can do it without the guide, but you'd lose a lot in the experience) takes you to Dupont Circle. The very Dupont Circle that's about a mile or two north and west of where we were. The characters in the audio talk about places like the Childe Harold and R St that exist in recent memory and places that existed 20 or 30 years ago, when Dupont was a sketchy neighborhood. Since a lot of participants are sure to have more than a passing acquaintance with Dupont, they and I, fed upon what we know about Dupont and brought it to the experience. Our guide interacted with actors and subtle props positioned along the tour. This is why you need the guide, the actors aren't obvious. They are as much a part of the real world space as the homeless guys.

Look a book
The Help, wouldn't have liked this production as much as the previous productions. The Help likes focus, and is not a fan of multitasking. This production is not in the protective confines of an art gallery or studio space where one can concentrate on the actors or dancers. He also wouldn't have been a fan of the smoking and drug references, either, but that's minor. If you bring your own mp3 player you get to keep the experience. I may play this for him, where his mind can travel to the Dupont where he used to live and work, eyes closed, safely on the space that is our couch.

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