An audience comes out of a play. As the members of the audience arrive at the lobby to exit, they find their way is blocked by a miniature forest in paper cups, The floor is covered with tiny plants in paper cups. There are silhouettes of animals in charcoal on either side of the river of cups. A poet behind a screen reads poems about the relationship between humans and nature. At the far edge of the miniature forest, there is a woman lying face down. Her hands and feet are black. Each audience member must decide how she or he will handle and navigate the obstacles posed by the small forest and by the lying woman, how respectful each will be. In the corners, young people describe what is happening with small acoustic instruments
The idea is that after attending a play, the audience floods out into the lobby and is convinced it has returned to real life. Real life has its rush and bustle, and people return to their personal bubbles of importance and priorities. Living responsibly is not convenient. We decided to put an obstacle in the way of such an exiting audience. We wanted the obstacle to be aesthetic, and clearly the result of a great deal of effort.
The people arrived at the miniature forest and just stopped. At first, they admired it. Then the better angels of our nature emerged. Carefully, two people moved just enough cups to be able to step across the forest without crushing it. Others realized what they were doing only after taking a couple of steps and bravely tried to leap out. Still others, one or two, tramped confidently over the forest, crushing it to bits beneath their feet. These individuals were heartily booed. Some even stayed, curious to see how others would cross.
What do we notice? What do we preserve? What is important enough to be part of our responsibility?
This performance is about making the real visible again; personifying the obstacle touches the nerve of conscience.