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Relics and Their Humans, by Ain Gordon & Josh Quillen

Ain Gordon, director

Ain Gordon as writer/director/performer and Josh Quillen as composer/performer with dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton. Relics… builds on the team’s last collaboration Radicals In Miniature which premiered at Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York Times Critic’s Pick). Where Radicals… tributed personal icons from Gordon’s youth on New York's performance scene, Relics… frames a story from Quillen’s Ohio family: their 3-year odyssey following his father Jerry’s 2006 ALS diagnosis. Three “relics” undergird this work. First, in 2019, Gordon & Quillen visited Quillen’s mom, Sue, recording an interview from her perspective as caretaker during Jerry’s illness. That transcript serves as foundational text with Ain voicing Sue and Josh voicing himself. Second, Sue offered up Jerry’s journal chronicling the arc of his disease in headlines: “feel better” only to reverse the next day with “limp, tired.” Third, Jerry made a 17-track playlist (sorry but you must see the work to learn why). The playlist ranges from “One Less Bell to Answer” to “Free Bird” and is reimagined by Quillen and Gordon from song elements (a 3-note key progression or a foot stomped rhythm)—overlayed by text—or morphing into newly composed songs utilizing phrases from Jerry’s journal (“I’ve a little drag in my foot”).  These elements are framed by Gordon’s recall of his first visit with Sue over dinner in Quillen’s childhood home—and the surprising extra person seated at that dining room table.

This performance will be presented without intermission, and there will be no late seating.

Event Details

Studio Theatre
Sa Oct 14, 2023 - 7:30pm CT
Su Oct 15, 2023 - 3:00pm CT
Advocate 70 / Standard 30 / SC 25 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10