VVITCH (2007)

Directors & Creators: Ian & Mia

Guest Directors: Tom Stroud, Debbie Patterson, Claire Borody

Performers & Collaborators: Petra Steinert, Natasha Torres-Garner, Jennifer Essex

Original Music & Sound by Fanny and Eve Rice

VVITCH … The word conjures a mysterious and dizzying phantasmagoria of history, fantasy, and spirituality. Perhaps this is why, even in our contemporary world, the word still has the power to evoke intense feelings. Regardless of what the word “witch” might mean to any single person – be he/she a Wiccan, Christian, Satanist, Atheist, or member of any other political/spiritual group – what remains after much fist-pounding dogmatism and apathetic eye-rolling is an infuriating stubborn seductive enigma.

Herein lies the difficulty of both bringing the Witch to the stage and, as we were surprised to discover, even promoting a show entitled VV I T C H. Although one of out of line’s intentions was to attempt a synthesis of the multiple visions of the Witch while still respecting it as a bizarre and disturbing historical phenomenon, our biggest challenge throughout the process has been surmounting the narrow ideas that would confine the Witch to singular definition.

Enduring mind-blowing and disturbing academic and performance research, heated in-studio debate, and not to mention, an emotionally-charged public confrontation with a Wiccan and quiet head-butting with Christians concerning the censorship of our promotional material, the Witch has certainly run us through a gauntlet of personal, political, spiritual, and creative dilemmas. Yet, despite the threat of libel, the morale-bruising creative and emotional challenges, the dismissal of critics, and the fear of artistic failure … we have admirably traversed the terrain of Witch. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t a bit worse for the wear, but I do believe that we’ve made some unique and shocking creative discoveries.

Having summoned the strange real-life figures of Brian and Anne Gunter, we’ve straddled the broomstick of our imaginations and flown high and low – plumbed the depths of Hell, climbed the heights of Heaven, shot straight into the heart of madness, gazed at the festering hypocrisy of society and its institutions, faced the destructive intimacy of the family, luxuriated in the decadence of monstrous joy and blasphemy … and, to boot, may have even sold our souls to the Devil himself. It’s all a bewitching blur now ..

(photos by Bruce Monk and Colin Vandenberg)

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