chapter  29
7 Pages

81 Sentences for Squat Theater Circa 1981

WithLin Hixson, Matthew Goulish

Our chapter attempts to recall a 1981 performance called Mr. Dead & Mrs. Free by the expatriate Hungarian group Squat Theater. We both attended the performance before meeting one another. Our company, Every house has a door, states as part of its mission the attempt to bring attention to historically or critically neglected subjects, and we count Squat Theater as such a subject. In this case our mission takes on a personal, autobiographical tenor as we compare memories of the performance and trace its influence on our own subsequent creative collaborations. Furthermore, in an attempt to mimic our subject’s stylized, whiplash approach to collaboration through braided juxtaposition of independently authored fragments, we have divided the chapter’s 81 sentences (in response to the year 1981) between us, as both formal constraint and homage. Ultimately the chapter forwards the claim of theatre production, dramaturgy and structure as modes to volatilize events in unpredictable directions reflecting the energetics of everyday life, and argues by example for a revaluation of the work of both Squat Theater and memory.