Landing of the Magic Flight: The Mysteries of Memory

Shown here at the Sondheim Prize Semi-final Exhibition in the Meyerhoff Gallery at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, as both a live performance and a static installation. This participatory performance was first mounted for Copycat Theatre's Rooms Play, Spring 2011. Participants entering the space were invited to cut shapes from cookie dough, asked to stand against a wall to measure how much they had grown, and one person in each gathering of viewers was singled out and given a 'birthday cake', which was shared around the room in sections while the other participants were encouraged to sing.

The original intention for creating the piece, within the context of the Rooms Play structure, was to create the illusion of a nostalgic ideal of home, safety, and innocence. Viewers were lured into the comfort of the space created by the sights, smells, and sounds of a loving grandmother's home... but upon closer inspection it was all a false, pre-packaged reality. Kitchen appliances, forest trees, and picket fences were only cardboard flats with obvious wooden stands... if tasted, cookies revealed themselves to be made with only salt, water, and flour, the smell only a store-bought scented candle... and an elaborate birthday cake was made from cardboard and antique doilies.

Photographed by Edward Winter.