One of the founding tenets of Ghostbird Theatre Company is that we support interdisciplinary arts and artists, which is meant to go further than the typical collaboration that is a part of theatre-making. We seek to nurture opportunities for visual artists, sculptors, soundscape artists, choreographers, and poets, creating the space for them to create original, stand alone pieces that we may be able to incorporate and build around as we mount a performance.
Nick Staab's film, Beast by Hand
We have the good fortune to be working with Linda Hall, a Tallahassee-based fabric, 3-d, and visual artist, whom we met at her exhibition "Untethered" with Barbara Balzer at Florida Gulf Coast University. We were struck by Linda's ability to cast the familiar and the uncanny, the animal and the human, the found and the fabricated, creating haunted, beautiful, and magical creatures. Her vision deeply informs what playwright Barry Cavin imagined for the Calusa spirit animals that populate his play, "ORBS!"
We love what Linda says about her own work in her artist statement: I want viewers to enter a stage setting where the objects are ordinary but can’t be put to use or fully understood: animal attire left open for a human body to occupy, or animal forms endowed with human attributes. Like items from a sixteenth century curiosity cabinet, my objects aim to provide evidence of another reality. With my paintings and sculptures, I want this reality to impress itself on viewers in a way that competes with mundane experience, just as myths lend greater depth to the perceptions of our senses. I produce alter egos for both human and non-human animals that emphasize their interrelation of identity—an interrelation that also speaks to the deep interconnectedness of life in the age of catastrophe in the natural world by global warming and other manifestations of the physical intrusion of humans in the natural world.
For "ORBS!" Ghostbird has commissioned Linda to create human/animal puppets & masks, of likely woodland animal spirits: a deer, panther, bear, and the like. Indeed, a theme in the play is about Cyrus Teed's own desire to conquer nature, and it is these animal spirits that haunt, tease, and torment the Teed of our play. Indeed, Linda Hall's own vision deepens, adds to our play.
"ORBS!" opens February 9 at Koreshan State Park, on the very grounds that Cyrus Teed and his followers built his utopian community, in Estero.