This weekend, the Theater and Efficiency Research (TAPS) division delivered an immersive expertise with their devised piece, “For Now.” The manufacturing was impressed by Jenny Odell’s New York Occasions bestseller “Find out how to Do Nothing,” a required studying for all first-year college students by the COLLEGE program.
Odell’s e-book serves as a subject information to resisting the eye economic system and successful again our lives from capitalist narratives of effectivity. Accordingly, “For Now” inspired viewers members to pause, replicate and rethink our relationship with intangible moments that usually evade measurement.
The efficiency didn’t have a steady plot; relatively, it served as a multimedia, gallery-style manufacturing unified by themes of productiveness, our relationship with time and the pursuit of that means in an age fixated on fixed achievement.
The theatrical journey started as viewers members exchanged their tickets for an MP3 participant and headphones on the door 20 minutes earlier than the present started. Attendees had been invited to wander exterior the Harry Elam Theater and carry out meditation workouts primarily based on directions within the MP3. Within the courtyard, towards the backdrop of violin music, an actor adorned with numerous clocks (Baxter Bartlett M.S. ’25) walked across the viewers members, already inviting contemplation about time’s relentless march and our wrestle to seek out stillness inside it.
Directed by Erika Chong Shuch, a solid of seven actors weaved components from Odell’s e-book into the efficiency, from direct quotes to allusions to Odell’s artwork practices. One standout second was “No matter Will Come,” a poignant track written by performer Rachelle Weiss ’26 and produced by Andrew Shuch.
Weiss’s musical exploration of her anxieties in regards to the future as an artist inside the tradition of productiveness was each private and universally resonant. The fixed repetition of the phrase “no matter will come” over the three-minute track highlighted the need for acceptance of the unknown.
A white panel on a turntable served as a flexible backdrop for the manufacturing, enabling the actors to navigate and discover the house in progressive methods. The backdrop was continually evolving all through the manufacturing: folks broke out of hidden doorways and home windows, the stage lights fell off their hinges and actors even tore off items of the set to throw across the stage.
The actors, primarily wearing stable black and white jumpsuits, sometimes turned into putting costumes designed by TAPS senior lecturer Becky Bodurtha. This created a enjoyable juxtaposition of uniformity with bursts of vivid visible chaos, resembling when actors fairly actually embodied beachgoers, flowers and even a snowman.
Some highlights of the evening occurred when the solid broke right into a chant-like track, repeating “fuck fuck fuck no,” in response to a staged technical glitch. This added an surprising but genuine layer to the efficiency, emphasizing the uncooked essence of devised theater.
In a very significant twist, Margarita Belle Jamero ’24, appearing as an influencer on livestream, delivered a tutorial on learn how to rapidly make your self cry. The tutorial became a touching story about her relationship with crying and her mom, including a young second within the fast-paced present.
Going down inside the context of Stanford’s productivist tradition, “For Now” was a compelling narrative that explored the themes of affection, house, time and surroundings. It questioned society’s relentless pursuit of effectivity, urging audiences to worth being current within the second.
“For Now” was a testomony to the ability of theater to impress thought, problem norms and have a good time the fantastic thing about the artistic course of. It was a respite from the hustle and a celebration of the essence of a theater artist.
Editor’s Word: This text is a evaluate and contains subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.