What are your names? Where are you from?
My name is Gabriel Evansohn and I am from Manhattan.
Mikhael Tara Garver
My name is Mikhael Tara Garver and I am from Brooklyn.
What is the project you are working on at SPACE?
It’s interesting. We’re working on a couple things while we are here at SPACE. There are two things mainly. One is a piece that we are calling Farm at Your Table that we’re doing in conjunction with SPACE and came out of our company being here last year. We are a company that builds story out of the spaces that exist. And this felt like such a rich space to build a story from that we started to think about how to build a story that focused around a dinner here. And the other thing that we have really been focusing on, which has been challenging and really useful to have this space for, is our company development. So, those two things in conjunction.
So the idea for Farm at Your Table came from being in residence at SPACE last year?
Yes. We were here last year doing a similar thing. Developing a project and also doing some company development. One of the things that has been really amazing for us is to have the rare opportunity to get all of our company members in one place for any sort of time, much less an extended period of time. So, to be able take these residencies and say, we have a bunch of people here, we are all sitting around… We can get much deeper into organizational structure and theoretical issues that kind of are impossible both within the process of production and within the process of all of our members schedules.
And working in NYC. We are currently working in an office downtown and we actually have been building a show out that has been inspired by that. And by being here, there was the question of ‘what are the stories here?’ and building in that way.
When will Farm at Your Table happen?
Our hope is that a first draft will happen in the last two weeks of May 2014. It will be a first draft production. One of the challenges that you have when you do immersive work is that it’s all well and good to do it on the page. But actually readings don’t do you much good. A reading incorporates an audience in a really important way. So we’ll do a first draft in May and hope to do then the fuller production in the fall of 2014.
How have you been spending your time at SPACE?
We do a lot of work. Both institutionally and production-wise, our work ends up being about simultaneity. It ends up being about thinking about how multiple things that are happening at the same time impact each other. Every day, we have built a different chart in a different place. We have built the infrastructure for Farm at Your Table. So, the map of where audience go and then the content that might map with that. And we have done the same thing in a way building out the story of the company, and where we want the company to go. And having multiple spaces to do different parts of that on the property has been really helpful. It has allowed us to accomplish a lot.
Frankly, a lot of our early conceptual development, both structurally and creatively, happened in conversation. Throughout our history, getting people together, sitting around and talking about something is how we move ahead with major projects. That has been the body of what we have done at SPACE. At the end of the week, it hasn’t necessarily felt like ‘oh, we have decided on this project.’ But I think back to last year, and one project we are working on now , the real breakthrough moment on that was sitting around a table here and talking about it for an afternoon.
And we had a breakthrough moment yesterday.
Yesterday, we were developing a project based on The Tempest, in the very early stage. And we had a moment where we were all sitting around outside talking about it. To a certain extent, in the moment, it feels very casual and very light, and fun and jokey. But it actually ends up being the germ that leads us to start building a project where we don’t all have to be in the room. A lot of our time is spent sitting in a group talking about something, whether that’s an early project idea, whether that’s an organizational principle, whether that’s around a chart. There is a sense in which it feels anticlimactic in the moment, but becomes foundational in hindsight.
We have spent our time finding moments of dividing and conquering and then coming back together.
What is next for you?
We are being shown at the Prelude Festival in October, just a piece of the office project. The actual piece itself will take over three floors in a Wall Street Building in late fall 2014 or early 2015. Interestingly, Farm at Your Table in our first draft may be the next thing to actually go up. The Tempest is something we are considering for a year or two down the road.
If you were reincarnated as a farm animal, what farm animal would you be?
I think I would be a cat. And probably for the same reason that a lot of people don’t like cats as house pets. You get a lot of independence. You get to live on your own. And you can cuddle up and lie in the sun. All of that sounds appealing to me.
I would really want to be a dog that lived on a farm. You get to run around. You get to eat. You get to play with things and get into stuff. And you get to swim. I don’t want to be a duck. But I really would want to be in water.
So your water animal is dog?
My water animal is a dog.
Interviewed by Alison McLaughlin