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US Premiere

Theater, Dance

Jan 11-14


Nicola Gunn (Australia)
Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster

Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster is the story of a man, a woman and a duck.

The work is disarmingly simple — exploring in depth the moral conundrum of what one should do if one comes across a person throwing rocks at a sitting duck — but gradually becomes increasingly complex. Accompanying the text is a rhythmic electronic soundscape and intense physical choreography shifting from the unnecessary and incongruous to the comic and strangely affecting. 

Gunn calls into question the ethics of intervention with a confrontation on peace and conflict, moral relativism, and the very function of art.

“Gunn’s text is intricate and often brilliant, full of unpredictable digressions and curious factoids. It’s the verbal equivalent of skimming stones over water.” – Cameron Woodhead, The Age (AU)


Concept, Text, Direction and Performance: Nicola Gunn
Choreography: Jo Lloyd
Music: Kelly Ryall
Lighting Design: Niklas Pajanti
AV Design: Martyn Coutts
Costume Design: Shio Otani
Script Dramaturg: Jon Haynes
Lighting/AV Operator: Ben “Bosco” Shaw
Sound Operator: Nick Roux
Producer: Performing Lines

Nicola Gunn is a Melbourne-based performer, writer, director and dramaturge. Since 2002, she has been making works that blend performance, art and anthropology to explore the fragility of the human condition with subversive humor. Her artistic practice is committed to institutional critique, social engagement and generating works that activate the public sphere by questioning old ways of being or proposing new ones. She uses performance to reflect critically on its place in theatres, to examine power relations in existing organizations and to consider the relevance and social function of art itself. The starting process is often a written text or idea imagined responding to a self-generated impulse to tell a story or explore a form. She draws mainly from her experience to create autobiographical fiction. Nicola’s work has been presented widely in Australia and has toured to Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States. www.nicolagunn.com

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. Founded in 1961 by Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is recognized as the seedbed of new work by artists of all nations and cultures. To date, La MaMa has presented more than 150,000 artists from over 70 nations. Each season, we offer more than 80 productions and receive 34,000 visits from people of all ages and all backgrounds who attend performances, exhibitions, educational activities and the Archives. We support the people who make art, and it is to them that we give $2 million of in-kind support including free theatre and rehearsal space, and audio/visual package, tech support, marketing support, and ticketing services. We enable artists explore their ideas and translate them into a theatrical language that can communicate to any person in any part of the world. La MaMa is the place where emerging artists learn from established artists and where artists from around the globe share work and ideas. Our East Village campus has grown to include four theatres, an art gallery, artist work and living space and an extensive Archive. For more information, visit lamama.org.

Featured image by Gregory Lorenzutti.

Nicola Gunn’s Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster is commissioned by Mobile States, produced by Performing Lines and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and was co-curated by Performance Space 122 and the City of Melbourne’s Arts House.
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