Another Language: Tackling the drama of dimension in 'XYZ'
Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic, the wife-and-husband team behind Another Language Performing Arts Company, have never been modest when it comes to exploring the untapped potential of live theater.
Not for them the kitchen-sink dramas of frustrated life and love. Instead, the Miklavcics are more interested in the impact of computer technology of perception and identity, as in their company's 2011 piece "DuelAlity 2.0" and. This year, the company turns its attention on the unexplored territory of space and dimension in "XYZ: a 3-D Telematic Cinema Performance About Width, Height and Depth."
The 25-minute work, with discussion to follow, takes place on a specially-constructed 3-D stage at the University of Utah Intermountain Network and Scientific Computation Center. Prior to Friday's opening, the Miklavcics took time out to highlight a few of the production's elements:
How the idea for this production arose • "As we were working on "DuelAlity 2.0" last year, ideas, moments and inspirations for this project began to gel," the Miklavcics said in email. "Knowing that we wanted to continue working in the stereoscopic medium and it truly is a medium just as an artist works with paint, or clay electronic bytes are something to mold. The 3-D space is defined by X horizontal, Yvertical, and Zdepth. It made sense to call the next project 'XYZ,' since that is our artistic space."
How it was put together • "Elizabeth woke up in the middle of the night and wrote practically the whole text in about three hours. The text came in poetic form. There were four distinct voices in the prose. After that, [we] began the work of assembling the artistic components. We knew we wanted to work with space, entities and a mixture of 2-D and 3-D video elements. We filmed the actors in front of a green screen. Jimmy began developing the complex workflow of how we were going to piece the elements together. Editing, animating and testing. The whole process has been a learning experience, which is what we love. The growth of delving into our unknown and growing from the process."
What viewers can expect • "In this project, the geographic diversity comes from space, the vastness of what may be out there, and the incredible nebulas and galaxies that scientists know exist. There is even an area in space where there are four galaxies in the process of coming together to make a huge single galaxy. It is even called "the Fantastic Four." Which is what we based our four characters on: Colored-By-Numbers (Hanelle Miklavcic), Ghost (Lexie Levitt), Marooned (Jimmy Miklavcic) and Rose (Elizabeth Miklavcic). As if those entities could travel to earth and talk to us. One of the points in the writing is, are our wants and desires "universal." Are we all wrestling with the same questions? Everywhere. Not just here on earth, but in the broader sense of existence itself. What is the meaning of life? It is about the questions? Why are we here? What does it all mean? Does it mean anything?"
Mind your Xs, Ys and Zs
Another Language Performing Arts Company presents "XYZ: A 3-D Telematic Cinema Performance about Width, Height and Depth."
When • Feb. 22-23, 7 p.m., Feb. 24, 4 p.m. and March 1-2, 7 p.m., March 3, 4 p.m.
Where • Vislab Black Box Theater at the Intermountain Network and Scientific Computation Center, 155 S. 1452 East, No. 294, University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City.
Info • $5-$7; free for students with ID. Call 801-531-9491 or visit http://www.anotherlanguage.org for more information.