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t h i s  t i t l e  w i l l  n o t  c h a n g e

Created by Abby Bender and Charles Gushue

Performed by Abby Bender

Premiere, Triskelion Arts - May, 2012

For the larger part of 13 years, Bender developed work on a large cast of performers under the auspices of Schmantze Theatre. In an effort to toy with that paradigm, 32 artists of various mediums contributed to the choreographer’s first solo show. The evening-length work is assembled from material donated by a wealth of dancers, composers, costumers, filmmakers, writers and clowns. Driven to experiment with a creative process that contrasted her usual approach to dance-making, Bender and Gushue asked collaborators to meet individually with Bender to explore and/or set their short material. No themes were set. No restrictions were placed. The pair catalogued the ostensibly incongruous dances, text, improvisational content and comedic sketches, resulting in an extraordinary mélange that is part memoir, part metaphor, part myth. This Title Will Not Change is, in fact, rife with change and its own inner logic, a surreal and surprisingly navigable journey into the cluttered landscape of the performer’s ID. The work shares the history and the humility of Bender’s psyche, and helps audiences understand why friendship and home always trump the minutia. A visual bacchanal, the show subdivides the theater into 3 worlds that are slowly revealed and absorbed into the next. An office is swallowed up by a junkyard. Finally, with the help of full audience participation, order prevails, exposing a magical scenery that has unexpectedly been there all along. 


With choreography by Peter Kyle, Stefanie Nelson, Katie Federowicz, Jessica Gaynor, Jonathan Ciccarelli, Zoe Schieber, Karesia Batan, Leanne Schmidt, Nadia Tykulsker, Alex Springer, Xan Burley, Charmian Wells, Amy Larimer, Cristina Jesurun, Laura Sargent Hall, and Charles Gushue. Music by Don Dilego, Roberta Kirn, and Brent Alberghini Clowning by Andrew Dickerson, Jeff Seal, Billy Schultz, and Richard Harrington. Text by Rebecca M. Sproul, Alex Springer, Xan Burley, and Abby Bender. Costumes by Sydney Maresca and Stephanie Sleeper. Sets by Marisa Gruneberg, Alexis Iammarino, Charles Gushue and Abby Bender. Video by Lyz Merida and Will Carlough. Structured improvisation and Puppetry by Cassie Tunick and Jackie Moynahan. Additional Direction by Dave Gochfeld

Click on images for larger views.Photos by Sam Polcer

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