objectivity Past Show

Tidying expert Mary Del Campo believes our possessions have a story to tell and with her guidance, we explore minimalism, nostalgia, and the meaning of the objects that surround us.

Objectivity was commissioned to address the Warehouse Theatre’s (Greenville, SC) need to create theatrical works in a COVID-19 world where large indoor gatherings were too risky. While many theaters across the country scrambled to fit traditional proscenium plays onto digital platforms, we were determined to embrace Zoom as a feature- not a flaw. Our mission was to make space for live experiential storytelling where being present in real time was critical and players’ contributions were an integral part of the story. Oh- did we mention that it also happens to secretly be [REDACTED] based on true stories from that night’s audience?

Objectivity is the first piece of lockdown theatre I’ve seen that feels tailor-made for both the time and the platform...leaving subsequent video calls charged with something magical and uncanny.

Jez Burroughs, Department of Enthusiasm

Originally conceived as a playful roast of self-help culture, Objectivity earnestly helps participants through interaction, laughter and even music. Through collaboration with Chicago-based musician Bill Larkin and Greenville-based performer Jessica Eckenrod, what first appeared to be an irony-laden parody revealed itself to be a virtual space for surprise, catharsis and authentic conversation.

Audiences engaged with Mary Del Campo’s unique ability to open an honest dialogue to discuss their objects, and by the end of the show, understood better why they have these items and what they mean in their lives. Some objects included a stolen rock, a single earring, a stack of grad school notebooks, a floppy disk of Wolfenstein 3D, a ThighMaster, and a homemade bong. Each one came with a story. Each story helped players connect with one another in personal, playful and sometimes profound ways.

When the world feels unstable, what do we choose to hold onto?

Indeed, what started as an ordinary Zoom meeting ended as an experience that I cannot help but recall as I open my computer screen to my online classes each day since.

Elizabeth Collins, The Paladin