4th Street & Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, New York
October 7 – November 2, 2020
Let’s not mourn our mailboxes
As vessels of civic futility.
But make renewed use of them.
To sit together (at a distance)
And console one another. And those we love.
Posting letters from the edge.
The CONSOLE is a site-specific, “post-dramatic” performance developed for the month leading up to the 2020 election.
Like so many, I was feeling a deep sense of isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic continued and as theaters closed en masse.
I wondered how performance in public space and performance with our public infrastructures – like the post – might induce new modes of contingent connection.
On October 7, 2020, I headed out to Prospect Park in Brooklyn and erected a consolation booth at my local mailbox.
With paper, envelopes, stamps, hand sanitizer, and my 1940s typewriter, I invited passersby to sit with me for the next month, to talk about the grief and loss they were experiencing, and to craft a blue-edged missive to someone they thought could use a boost.
I was surprised and indeed overwhelmed by the public reception of this project. The performance was profiled in The New York Times and subsequently by a broad array of local and international outlets including, most recently, The Kelly Clarkson Show on daytime TV and Barbara Fuchs’ new book, Theatre in Lockdown, which is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in 2021.
On Monday, November 2, the day before the election, we sat at the mailbox all day, and were joined by some surprise sonic guests.