copyright © 2001 James Parr

The ENVELOPE pieces. Three people, not necessarily "actors," were given five different commands which they were to do/enact for roughly a minute. Some props involved too--

The Envelope by James Parr
for November 16, 2001


Set 1

  1. "The death of irony is very ironic. Trying to say what you mean should be left to the specialists. If you ask me, words are kind of fucked up. No one expected you to be here right now. You all have better things to do. Our country is at war. Washington State is proud to offer the world 37 different kinds of apples. But I haven’t met most people. I like sad movies and happy moments. Politics is what we do when we’re not looking. My favorite word is "cloister." My favorite dirty word is "urinal." Winter is when I use extra blankets. Nothing has ever happened before and if it did, I wasn’t paying attention. The death of anything is part of a process. Our planes are better than your planes. The death of irony is very ironic. The death of irony is very ironic." [Repeat "The death of irony is very ironic."]
  2. Talk about your first kiss.
  3. Rub as many shoulder blades as possible.
  4. Analyze this one dollar bill out loud.
  5. Politely ask audience members what they are doing here.


Set 2

  1. Ask audience members for their middle names and thank them for coming.
  2. Read this excerpt from the Charlottesville phonebook.
  3. "Blasted. Broken. Bloated. Division. Numbers. Salvation. Beer. Bottles. Strange. Bells. Timing. Cataract. Vision. Blindness. Seeing. Torture. Version. Evaluate. Envelope? Re-read. Write. Fornicate. Brilliance. Darkness. Left turn. Stoplight. Nothing. Paper. Glass. Clay. Version. Flavor. Mix tape. Energy. Fascination. Problem. Clarity. Art. Broken. Fixed. Piece. Peace. Fragment. Process. Odor. Order. Disorder. Mail-order. Civility. Break. Words. Possess. Obtain. Release. Own. Danger. Danger. Danger." [Repeat "Danger."]
  4. Touch as many chairs as possible.
  5. Recite the English alphabet. [Repeat.]


Set 3

  1. Sit down next to audience members and ask them about their plans for Christmas.
  2. Discuss your opinions regarding America’s "War on Terrorism."
  3. Ask audience members if they think this performance is art and if so, why.
  4. Ask for and give as many hugs as possible.
  5. "Museums are free. What we go to see is never free. Frames are delivery systems of the elite. Fucking is the poetry of the masses. The "Air and Space Museum" is a fraud. This is less random than you think. Artichokes are blessed. Turnips are sacred. Nature doesn’t mean anything. We came here for art. Someone here is drunk. Someone here is not amused. I like paintings with flowers and naked women. I like sculpture that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. Moderate physical pressure. Europe has lots of art and we don’t, but we’re catching up. This is information that can save lives. No one talks about water colors anymore. Music is the most obvious. Lace is difficult. Love kills me every time I try it. Museums are rarely free. I love museums. Love kills me. Love kills me." [Repeat "Love kills me."]

other scripts for The Envelope
[October 12th] [November 15th] [November 16th]

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