January 19, 2021
Walk&Talk Theatre Company is an award-winning company creating original multidisciplinary work that engages the heart and brain through music, movement, and writing. They visited IISD-ELA as Artists-in-Residence from September 15 to 20, 2019.
Walk&Talk are known for their aesthetic of blending musical and physical theatre in imaginative landscapes. The founding team—Duncan Cox, Ben Townsley, and Tanner Manson—collaborate with each other and other music theatre artists to bring this work to life, exploring and experimenting with form and process.
They have worked with One Trunk Theatre in co-producing the podcast radio play Blink which was safely performed live to a small audience in the autumn of 2020. They are also company-in-residence at Theatre Projects Manitoba, where they have been developing a new show inspired by the trio’s time at the IISD Experimental Lakes Area.
To learn more about Walk&Talk and their work you can check out their website, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. You can also listen to their radio play Blink, here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Walk&Talk Theatre Company dedicated a portion of their residency at IISD-ELA to movement improvisations—researching how the architecture of the lakes and surrounding area could inform movement. What images are created? What kind of relationships form between performers or between performer and environment? These excerpts are not final pieces at all; they are equivalent to a note in a margin a playwright leaves for themself.
Movement sequences and images from these explorations have already informed works that Walk&Talk are developing. They are also continuing to explore the development of movement with natural architecture and how to put that in a more ‘traditional’ theatre setting.
In addition to music and movement research, Walk&Talk Theatre Company wrote a series of poems poems inspired by their visit to IISD-ELA as 2019 Artists-in-Residence.
the doing is much more difficult to do while a Watcher is watching.
to a Do’er,
makes a Do’er unsure of whether they did the thing they were doing,
Because a Viewer doesn’t do what a Do’er does.
And a Watcher doesn’t even offer their own view on what the Do’ers do.
They just watch
and wait for the Do’er to do something great.
But the watching makes the doing happen too fast
or too slow
and the Watchers don’t know what the Do’er was even going for.
All they’re left with is what the Do’er did.
And the Do’er has to leave it at that.
Everyone Writes a Poem About the Moon
She wrote me a poem. It’s official. She’s in love. It was about the moon. Talk about cliche! Came so close as you compare me to a Summer’s day. Told me her heart, like the moon, burned with the heat of a single star. Which, while accurate, doesn’t earn them points for originality. I mean, we all write poems about the moon. It’s a natural, bio-logical response. It’s a beautiful rock, I’ve gotta admit. With dimples in her cheeks and the sun in her face…
Sure, I like her a bit. Just a bit! But I’d never, not ever stoop to such trite, banal and lovely feelings as to write a poem about the moon! I’m too good for that. I read Othello! Not ever will I slog through such over-written cliche as to write a poem about the moon.
Though if I did. And I’m not saying I would! It’d be through a post modern lens. I’d look at the moon as a reflection of the sun or something. I’d write a peer-reviewed article! I’d even cite my sources!
I mean, it’s not like I don’t want to write a poem about the moon. It’s impossible not to be inspired when eclipsed by something so much larger than oneself. But even if it was for love – which I’m not even sure it is – my artistic integrity wouldn’t allow it. Couldn’t possibly allow it. What if she doesn’t like it? What if I pour my heart and soul into a poem – like my father before me and his mother before him – and she rejects it! Calls it cliche because – let’s face it – it is. Calls it a sorry bastardization of earnest human emotion! Or something.
How do you know if it’s love? How do you know how to write a poem about the moon before you’ve written one? For all I know, I could be really good at it. A natural! Maybe she’d love it! And I’d love it that she loved it! Maybe a poem about the moon isn’t a cliche when you’re the one who writes it.
After all; everyone writes a poem about the moon.
The Man with the Exploding Head
I am the man
With the exploding head.
A man without a head
You’d surely think he would be dead
But my head has not exploded
It is in the process of exploding.
A common notion
Is that they happen fast
They cause a commotion.
But my head is always exploding
In slow motion.
(A man whose head has flown quite high)
Before I die
Before I’m dead
I’m going to fill my aching head
Of honking geese
Of Summer breeze
Of things that please
So that when I take my head
A joyous life will be released.