On Stage: Past
by Jenny Magnus
June 28–July 14, 2019
7:00 p.m. Sundays
Part of Curious E.A.T.S.
- Prop Thtr • 3502 N. Elston, Chicago
- $15 or pay what you can
Open Wide is a new sung play about a patient, her dentist, and the young receptionist who encounters them both. Entirely sung to a soundtrack of electronic music, Open Wide explores ideas of vulnerability, consent, violence, and the illusion of control. Written, composed, and directed by Jenny Magnus, this show will be premiered in EATS (Electro-Acoustic Theater Symposium), co-sponsored by the Experimental Sound Studio, Curious Theatre Branch, and Prop Thtr in June 2019. It will run the next two weekends on its own.
Open Wide is called a “sung play” in order to make a new category for the experiments in singing, sprechen stimme, and pitched speaking that Magnus has been undertaking, particularly in her last “sung play” (Not) Another Day, which premiered in September of 2018. A story of consent and the eros of pain, Open Wide is set in a dentist’s office, and the hits, taps, and drilling sounds of dentistry make up a major thematic aspect of the sound design. A patient comes to see her regular dentist, but he is unexpectedly unavailable. Instead, she must be examined by Dr. Tina, an inscrutable, dominating person, who is exactly what is needed by the patient at this time in her life. They enter into a relationship of sorts, and the wide open mouth, the pain, of the patient is a portal to some kind of new life, a new freedom. At the same time, The receptionist, a young man, incel-like in his outsider, put-upon status, is a witness to this intimacy, and is increasingly seething with his own desires. An exploration of what is beyond language, beyond the bounds of civility, and into a world of play. People get hurt sometimes when they play, it’s part of the story.
Emily Cox, Lucía Mier y Terán Romero, Jacob Van Hoorn