Square Top Theatre’s Laura, or Scenes from a Common World is a cinematic poem formed into an installation. It explores one woman’s struggle to make herself at home in the world. Her journey begins tragically. She has lost a boy. In losing him, she becomes less sure of the roles other people play in her self-creation. She seeks security in isolation only to find that landscape, community, and physical embodiment all ground who we are in ways she cannot escape. In this spare drama, inspired by Ovid’s Apollo and Daphne myth, audiences follow Laura’s search for freedom by running away, yet she ultimately finds freedom by engaging the common world around her.
Laura began as conversation about form and the possibility for physical performance to complete, rather than merely illustrate, the written word. This was the catalyst for what became the film, which was shot on-location in the city of Tromsø and on the island of Reinøya in Northern Norway in June of 2015. The single channel film premiered in 2016 at the Art Video International Film Festival in Cannes, France. It was subsequently awarded the 2017 Goujon Caille award for best experimental film at Cinema on the Bayou in Lafayette, Louisiana. This iteration marks the project’s premiere and full expression as a 3-channel multi-media installation. Relief prints and sketchbook selections offer elements of material reality alongside the projections.