Reflections After Being Obstructed: Felix Culpa

Felix Culpa was the second theatre company to approach the challenge of Obstructions. They were tasked with the following obstructions:

The subject matter must be autobiographical.
  2. A limit of 100 words may be used.
  3. The piece must be site-specific but cannot take place in the home of either Artistic Director

Felix Culpa took a controversial interpretation to their Obstructions. The discussion that followed the performance, centered around the idea of whether following the obstructions literally left part of the spirit behind. Set at the Ukrainian Hall, we entered with the tables were arranged in a semi-circle around a circular layer of paper in the centre. Different size lamps were scattered on the tables.  We arranged ourselves around the edges of the room, as the lights dimmed. The piece depicted a marriage of artistic styles between Felix Culpa’s Artistic Directors, David Bloom and Linda Quibel. As the story moved forward, images of their journey were projected on both the papers and in on the back wall, telling more of their history without words. They used 100 different words repeated throughout the piece to tell the story relationship between Linda and David as they learned to work together to create art. After the piece was finished a heated discussion surrounding the 100 words obstruction. Personally I feel that Felix fulfilled the obstruction but the other companies were a bit bothered that Felix Culpa managed to side step the difficultly that was set before them. I corresponded with Linda about her reflections on the process:

Me: Did the Obstructions change your creative process, if so how?

Linda: Essentially, no. David and I had not worked together like that in quite some time, but the process was generally the same.

Me: If you could do it again, would you change anything?

Linda: I wish we had had more money to go as far as we wanted. And more time, always more time.

Me: What was something you learned about yourself or your company in the process of creating the piece.

Linda: We talk too much? I knew that already.

Me: What was the most challenging Obstruction and why?

Linda: For me, the most challenging Obstruction was the site-specific venue. Specific to what? And how? Any venue would have had to accomodate an audience and its services. PL 1422 was not avaliable for the performance nor afterparty, so if we took people under the viaduct or to the beach, we would have had no place to host the judging and ensuing activities. So we needed a place that would have a rudimentary bar and would be able to be licensed, and that kinda (unfairly, I thought) tied our hands.

Me:  Do you feel as though you succeeded in integrating your Obstructions? Was passing considered a priority?

Linda: I thought we integrated our Obstructions in our fashion. Passing was not a priority.

Me:  Do you feel as though the Obstructions accurately targeted your company’s creative style?

Linda: I thought it did somewhat. You could have thrown far harder things at us that would have really stymied us.

Me:  What was your favorite part of the process?

Linda: The performance. As usual.

My interview with Linda left me curious, with a few more questions like, what is Felix Culpa’s normal process and fashion for approaching the show and what are some examples of Obstructions that really would have challenged Felix Culpa’s style? Thanks to you all for exploring Obstructions with me and although I will not be blogging (someone else will continue) I will definitely see you at Leaky Heaven and Theatre Conspiracy‘s Obstructions this fall.


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