To See or Not to See is a unique one-woman performance by writer and theatre artist Ruth Bieber. This play is a powerful story of wounding, overcoming, courage, and healing. Employing the circular motif of a shamanic quest as frame, Ruth Bieber’s first play is full of insight about what it’s like to have a vision disability as a child, a woman, a mother and a professional – and about the more hidden disabilities of those around her. Interdisciplinary artist prOphecy sun will accompany Bieber with an opening performance called Floating in the in-between, composed in response to Bieber’s story.
To See or Not to See is co-hosted by Oxygen Art Centre and the Capitol Theatre, and will take place at Oxygen Art Centre on Saturday March 30th at 7 p.m., and Sunday March 31st at 2 p.m.
Bieber’s multimedia, solo show takes us into the story of one woman’s courageous and soul-searching journey of adventure, discovery, and ultimate forgiveness. For the 1.5 hour duration of the piece, audience members can choose to either watch the play, or be immersed in their other senses with the help of a blindfold. Nicholas Jones of Calgary writes, “Thrown into Ruth’s world, into a string of narratives that tied key pieces of her life together, delicately woven but powerfully expressed, “To See or Not To See: Homecoming” left a lasting impression and I never even saw it. Instead, I found myself fully immersed and along for a journey, that felt exposed and dangerous at times, delicate and intimate at other moments, and overall, deeply moving. Truly, we cannot know how another fully experiences life if we rely so heavily on what we see.” (2018)
Floating in the in-between is an interdisciplinary performance by prOphecy sun made in response to Ruth Bieber’s powerful story To See or Not to See, 2019. The 15-minute piece conjures up images of fragmented, reflective still waters, woven together through an atmospheric composition consisting of looping, suspended textures, sounds, processed vocal tones, and field recordings. Complimenting the sound is a visual tapestry of projections.The multisensory piece elicits viewers to negotiate reality by transporting them elsewhere, into other places where the body, mind and subconscious moments meld together.
Ruth Bieber holds a MA in Education from the University of Calgary, with a specialization in Rehabilitation and Theatre. Prior to obtaining this degree, her professional focus was as a Counselling Therapist, working with clients with disabilities; often more than a single disability. In the early 1990s, she founded InsideOut Theatre which was a testament to the power of performance for people with a wide range of mixed abilities. Ruth is the recipient of the 2001 Mount Royal College Excellence in Teaching Award, 2003 Calgary Community Adult Living Teacher of the Year Award, 2004 Woman of Vision, 2006 Euclid Herie Leadership Award (CNIB), the 2008 Donald Norman Balancing Acts awards for achievements as artistic director of Inside Out Integrated Theatre Company, and the 2011 Spirit of Kelowna award for contribution to the Arts. Written by Ruth Bieber. Directed by Phillip Wagner.
prOphecy sun is an interdisciplinary performance artist. Her practice threads together both conscious and unconscious choreographies, sound, and environment to create exploratory works that invoke deep body memory. She self-releases music, choreography, compositions, and videos using smartphone technology. Current musical projects include prOphecy sun, Spell and the Vancouver Electronic Ensemble (VEE). Past projects include Tyranahorse, Her Jazz Noise Collective, Under the Sun, and The Adulthood. She has exhibited and performed at the Arts Commons, Orillia Museum of Art and History, Surrey Art Gallery, One Art Space, Dance in Vancouver, L'alternative: Festival de Cine Independiente de Barcelona, Festival Miden, Unit/Pitt Gallery, Institut für Alles Mögliche, Cinethesia Feminist Film Festival, VIVO Media Arts Centre, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Dancing on the Edge, Fontanelle Gallery, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. She holds a BFA and MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
This event is part of Capitol Theatre’s offsite programming, and is co-hosted by Oxygen Art Centre. Tickets are $15. Buy online at capitoltheatre.ca or at the Box Office Tuesday-Friday noon-4:30 p.m. in person or by phone 250.352.6363