Heather Boyd

AFTER, created by the OBIE-winning Andrew Schneider in collaboration with Alicia ayo Ohs, Alessandra Calabi, and Bobby McElver, is an eerily personal and collective examination of where we are, how we got there, and what might follow. Told through sound, time, moments of intimacy, physics, flashes of light and darkness AFTER is immersive, visceral, and above all, disorienting, with recurring reminders of our brains’ fallibility.

Is she simply forgetting, or is her mind dying, becoming blank and letting go?

Alicia ayo Ohs describes the physiological process of breathing. Punctuating the last time one’s lungs e x p a n d and contract with excruciating detail in an emotionally detached, clinical manner that forced me to consider the finite amount of oxygen the room contained. Suddenly I felt suffocated, my chest heaved, and I loosened my scarf for relief.

The mundane was distilled down to an essence that was jarringly universal. Although the desk as an everyday object didn’t make sense in the context of an onstage intimate relationship it didn’t detract from the magic that occurred in the darkness, when the lights came back on, of things and people disappearing and appearing seemingly in an instant.

The physics of time and space became elastic. At moments I felt like I was drifting in the darkness utterly alone, too alone, then the next second the room compressed and the audience members around me became stifling.

Never have I been so aware that everyone around me was experiencing the same performance in entirely different ways. Were my neighbors reliving moments of love or loss? Or were they absorbed with an anxiety brought on from the darkness and the unknown?

When is the last time I will set my tooth brush down?

I need the comfort and weight of a sandwich in my hand.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,
Photo: http://pica.org/event/andrew-schneider/