The Gathering

Written and Directed by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola | PART OF THE RESPONSE PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL (2017)

Video by Flatsitter

The Gathering, as all our work at Silo City, starts with the dramatic premise that there is a community of people who make a pilgrimage to grain elevators in order to enact annual rituals. In this particular production the audience is invited to attend an “Opening Ceremony”. This community is an assemblage of people whose culture has been an appropriation and intersection of race, religion, pop culture and gender. Through their opening ceremonies they enact and recreate acts of resistance from a collective history. The drones signify surveillance. A surveillance that maintains control by an ubiquitous overseeing agent that uptakes, appropriates and commercializes all acts and symbols of resistance or counter culture rendering them mute. The pureness of the original act of resistance is soon mediated by distribution and commercialization, neutralizing all meaning.

The celebration on the field plays out against a family gathering. In a historic moment of the collective past a dinner party occurred. This event is reenacted to showcase the uprising of the society against an authoritarian family structure.

Within the performance, appropriation is seen in the society’s dress, dance and mannerisms and is a product of commercialization. It is both innocent and naive, and often celebratory. It is an unexamined and unconscious act.

Still resistance occurs. Still we proceed. Still we gather. Ultimately, it is an act of collective motion against a larger controlling force. Hope resides in this motion.

It may be that we resist. It may be that we stand by. It may be both and nothing. But still we celebrate, we feast, we sing, we dance, and we mourn. We gather so that we may imagine more.

— Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola