I was asked, as a poet, to write a piece to a certain theme that would then be performed by four actors under the guidance of a director. A number of other poets are doing the same, as are a number of playwrights. I've attended past shows and at the end of the performances, the audience votes for which they liked more, the poets' work or the playwrights'. It seems to be a friendly competition... so far.
How are you participating in this event? What are you most excited about sharing with audiences?
I wrote a somewhat experimental piece that incorporates noises and sounds. It was hand-written and includes a lot of incomprehensible scribbles. I'm excited to see how the director and actors interpret it.
How does participating in an event like this stretch you as an artist?
I usual write a poem with the idea that I will, at some point, be reading it out-loud. It's great to write something that someone else will by performing; the ambiguities of interpretation are both daunting and exciting. In other words, I recognize that I don't have as much control over the final product as I'm used to, which is challenge enough.
Probably whiskey or gin, but cheap wine causes me the least amount of pain the next day.
This edition of Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets tackles the theme of (D)Constructing Seattle. What is one aspects of living in Seattle that you either love or hate – and why?
The lack of affordable housing and other class issues, the fact that in such a wealthy city so many people get left behind, bother my probably more than anything. I'm happy that, despite those issues, weirdos that don't care much for capitalist notions of success are still plentiful in the city.
What do you think audiences will take away after seeing Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets?
Hopefully they will discover a new artist and become so obsessed with that artist that a restraining order becomes necessary.
Can you tell us something about your aesthetic and approach as a writer, actor, or visual artist?
I like to mess around with various aesthetics and approaches, genres and styles. For this piece, I was approaching it like a work of musical composition, though I know very little about that so it's coming from a kind of outsider perspective. Aesthetically, it's a bit of an asemic collage: scribbles and noise and song and more straightforward poetry here and there. I also wanted to make it funny, but I have an odd sense of humor so perhaps only I will laugh....
Bryan Edenfield was born in 1982 in Arizona but currently resides in Seattle, where he has lived since 2007. He is the co-founder and director of the local small press/arts organization, Babel/Salvage, and his work has been featured in Poplorish, Your Hands Your Mouth, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Wonder and Risk, and other fine publications.
He co-hosts and co-curates Ogopogo, a performance series at the Pocket Theater, and also hosts and curates the Glossophonic Showcase, which airs live on Hollow Earth Radio semi-regularly. He has a degree in philosophy and history and works at an art museum, so don't worry.
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Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets plays February 5 – 6 at the Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill. Friday performance is at 7:30 and Saturday at 7:30 pm. and 10:00 pm. Tickets are available here: http://seattletheatreworks.org/