at AFS Cinema
"...But that tricky choice is always at the core of Rubber Repertory's work, especially its new show – Play? Piece? Let's say experience. – Biography of Physical Sensation, which opens Oct..."
"...I like to imagine that when I am 86, I will get one more shot of tequila and a cold, cold Mexican beer and a cigarette, and when I finish all that the barkeep will reveal himself to be Jesus and let me know that I am dead and can drink and smoke all I want. When I went to Rubber Repertory’s Biography of Physical Sensation, I was randomly assigned a set of experiences that would have included being offered a shot of whiskey with no warning about what it was, but some of the performers knew this could be a serious problem for me, so they adapted the experience on the spot, and, as I remember it, poured out the shot and let me smell it, and then one of them took the shot herself and continued with the experience, which had me lay my head on a table and watch part of an old B&W movie through the distorted view of the now empty shot glass..."
"...1) 'BIOGRAPHY OF PHYSICAL SENSATION' (Rubber Repertory) Admittedly, I wasn't able to catch the 2011 remount of this wild, boundary-breaking circus of sensations. But if it was anything like the original production of 2010, I'm sure I wouldn't have stopped talking about it (again) for months...."
"...10) 'BIOGRAPHY OF PHYSICAL SENSATION' (RUBBER REPERTORY) A theatrical experiment that reduced one woman's life to components of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, and in transferring them to an audience, expanded it into a something surprisingly communal, rich in connections and shared humanity. Honorable Mentions..."
"...Biography of Physical Sensation, Rubber Repertory..."
"...Josh Meyer and Matt Hislope, founders and directors of the Rubber Repertory theatre company, had gone on indefinite hiatus following their original, stunning Jubilee at the Off Center in April 2012. After 10 years of bringing this city such odd and compelling spectacles as the Biography of Physical Sensation and Surprise Annie and The Casket of Passing Fancy and Mister Z Loves Company, the two University of Kansas alumni staged their final public show and parted ways: Meyer to L.A., to ply his commercial-acting trade and reignite a romantic connection there; Hislope to return to a gig among the hardworking jesters of Esther's Follies on Sixth Street...."
"...And yet, consider the most elaborate and transformational productions from that theatre company: The Casket of Passing Fancy and Biography of Physical Sensation. These were brilliant anthologies of human experience, of art, engaged via the machinery of live showbiz and parlor games..."
"...Secondly: There's Biography of Physical Sensation, by Rubber Repertory, which I saw a few weeks ago – (click to read review here). Amazing..."
"...Rubber Repertory for Biography of Physical Sensation These Are the Droids You're Looking For Award..."
"...They seemed willing to go anywhere. They were all really committed." At this point in the company's career, Rubber Repertory is likely to attract the sort of performers who find being "up for anything" and "going on a journey" to be especially appealing: This is the company that built its reputation on performances including the "X-rated self-help odyssey" Mister Z Loves Company, the outright pornographic A Thought in Three Parts, and the audience-participatory performance pieces Biography of Physical Sensation – which involved an audience member wearing a vibrator throughout the duration of the show, among other experiences – and The Casket of Passing Fancy, in which audience members were offered opportunities like "Who wants to be made into a sandwich and eaten?" and "Who wants a one-on-one yoga session in the nude?"..."
"...Biography of Physical Sensation..."
"...After all, Meyer and Hislope were responsible for bringing the world Wallace Shawn's A Thought in Three Parts – a live-action pornography (at least in its second Part) that moved the visiting playwright to tears with its power & verisimilitude. More importantly, in the river of years now downstream, the duo premiered their original works Red Cans and The Casket of Passing Fancy and Biography of Physical Sensation and Surprise Annie and, most recently, Jubilee. NB: No, we haven't forgotten Mister Z Loves Company, you sick little monkey. They brought a long run of productions that didn't go unnoticed among all the other spectacles in this relentlessly burgeoning urb..."
"...Remember when Shannon McCormick and Lowell Bartholomee and Graham Reynolds brought two imaginary football teams to vibrant brother-vs.-brother rivalry in Unbeaten. When Rubber Repertory's Biography of Physical Sensation made everyone experience, as literally as it gets, the life of a woman named Jamie Damon..."
"...She's not Josh Meyer or Matt Hislope: They're the artistic directors of Rubber Repertory, the company behind Biography of Physical Sensation and The Casket of Passing Fancy and Wallace Shawn's X-rated, never-before-produced-in-America A Thought in Three Parts. But Meyer and Hislope – that adventurous Mutt and Jeff duo who also brought clever Dial-a-Tune songster Dick Price back into the limelight – are friends of La Ganga's..."
"...And the "small" audience for it is more likely to appreciate the effort that went into its making. Pulling together the artists and projects that comprise Fusebox, Berry is sensitive to "experiences you can only have in small settings." It may be something like Rubber Repertory's Biography of Physical Sensation, in which the audience of 35 shares in opportunities to feel, taste, smell, hear, and see very specific sensory experiences rooted in one woman's life history; or Bottled-in-Bond: The Decline and Fall of a Thug Told in Five Drinks, part of the new Fusebox culinary series (see "Digestible Feats," below) in which 20 people slam back a few specially created cocktails together in the Tigress Pub while listening to a noirish tale of criminal misfortune; or The Bench, by Ant Hampton of theatre company Rotozaza and British writer Glen Neath, in which two strangers serve as both audience and actors, taking part in a scripted dialogue fed to them line by line over headphones..."
"...4) 'BIOGRAPHY OF PHYSICAL SENSATION' (RUBBER REPERTORY) With each show, Rubber Rep makes me conceive of theatre in a new way, and for that I'm eternally grateful...."
"...3) 'BIOGRAPHY OF PHYSICAL SENSATION' (RUBBER REPERTORY) Rubber Rep translated one woman's well-documented personal history into a public evening of sensory events performed on and/or by the audience of 40 people nightly. A frequent postshow response: "I expected it to be weird and uncomfortable, but it was weird and so much fun."..."
"...As with so many aspects of our society, the focus on the individual obscures our view of the collective; "What show am I seeing?" trumps "What show are we seeing?" September 11 shifted that in the theatre and concert hall as elsewhere, but since the national unity we felt then eventually faded, it isn't surprising that it faded in the arts as well. In the decade since, I've experienced that affecting bond among audience members a handful of times – during The Laramie Project at Zach Theatre, Blue Lapis Light's Requiem, Forklift Danceworks' The Trash Project, the Rude Mechs' Decameron Day 7: Revenge!, Rubber Repertory's Biography of Physical Sensation and The Casket of Passing Fancy – but mostly that's been because the creators have made an explicit effort to incorporate into the work a sense of community, and even active participation...."
"...He wasn't. When Tarzan of the Apes was published in 1912, the former pencil-sharpener salesman from Chicago became a 36-year-old overnight sensation..."