Variations of a Patchwork Heart
We haven’t been able to see live performers as much as we would’ve liked this past year, and we also haven’t been able to go on cute first dates with cute boys! Well, Variations of a Patchwork Heart solves all those problems with vibrant wit, astronomically-intimate poetic thought experiments and pink lemonade! Come take a sip of this interactive performance installation created by Tanner Manson. Part performer pouring out their heart, part speed-dating simulator with imaginary friends – This installation can be enjoyed by all!
During presentation in September 2021, a pink lemonade stand was set up, drinks were poured and, in a community installation, guests were invited to write on little patchworks that got hung up on a clothesline, anonymously inviting people to write pick-up lines, love poems, something that makes their heart flutter – a moment for someone to share what filled their heart and to spread some love.
This project became a bit of an ongoing creative repository for all the many things that were weighing on my heart. From expanding to restricting and going with the flow of what was possible, the creation of this piece was a great learning experience for me juggling the hats of creator/performer and assisting producing of the project but as Chautauqua as a whole.
It was hard. I fell out of love and in love with this project, and myself creatively, many times during this year-long process. I have fond memories of jamming with Emily Solstice Tait and exploring our creative processes together – that time safely in studio together has catapulted what is sure to be lifetime collaborators between the two of us. I also have fond memories of when we stayed in the Arborg Multicultural Heritage Village and Campground where Claire Therese Friesen taught me the song from the show, Tender Heart, which she made on accordion with lyrics I wrote – I remember her playing the accordion and maybe singing the song in this beautiful prairie landscape, it was a very special moment (especially because I think Claire is just the gosh-darn coolest person).
There’s a lot more to this show than was in the presentation that happened in September 2021, or that was filmed – this show was always presented as “where this is at right now” – little moments of me figuring out my creative process and what I’m capable of, or, what I would like to be capable of. There is so much imagery, text, and moments I’m excited to revisit at some point, down the road!
I would like to thank Ben Townsley for his support and for recording the text of the show that I performed to. I would like to thank Duncan Cox for his music abilities in creating the Cloud Beard piece and for lending his voice to the piece. Another thanks to Claire Therese Friesen and Emily Solstice Tait. And a massive thank you to Theatre Projects Manitoba; Ardith, Rea and Andraea, for their administrative and artistic mentorship, guidance and support this past year.