What’s Ruling Your Life?

Yes, I was once a law student. While I would sit in Criminal Law class in Chicago watching Professor Polsby speak about Mr. Cacciatore and his trespassing or the beauty of the glock 16, I would think about how great this would be if we were all uptown at Club Lower Links where I’d been hanging out at night seeing Ira Glass experiment with new stories or Lisa Buscani break hearts and blow minds with her slam poetry.

That idea and image never left me. And time has continued to grow the feeling I have that we need an honest inquiry into the Law. Into Authority. So I started my own law school. There’s no entry exam or loans needed. Come on in.

I started to develop my own class as a show. I wanted to show people that law school and suing were not natural answers to our problems and that that law was created by people to serve us but that it’s structure is erasing our humanity. It was working. 6 participants decided to not apply to law school. But then something happened. I had a serious accident.

I was helped by a young evangelical Christian who got out of his cab on the way to church. His were the first prayers I ever welcomed in my life. To pay my medical bills, I ended up a reluctant plaintiff, the very thing I had been criticizing. That meant that anything I recorded, spoken or written, could be subpoenaed and used against me by the defendants. I had no one to talk to but Oscar Wilde. His trials were the thing I’d studied the most in law school. And, like him, I found myself having my jokes analyzed. And I had to answer: what was really ruling my life?

How This Is Possible

Development history, Grants and Awards

  • HOT Festival, Dixon Place, NYC 2010
  • Real Live Women, Hourglass Solo Lab, Bowery Poetry Club NYC 2007 
  • The Marsh, San Francisco 2006 
  • New Play Day, Magic Theatre, San Francisco 2006
  • SXSW Vortex Rep, Austin 2005
  • San Francisco Theatre Festival 2006
  • Zellerbach Family Foundation Grant
  • Theatre Bay Area’s CA$H grant
  • New Georges Theatre/Hourglass Solo Lab, NYC

Special thanks to Mark Routhier (Bone Man of Benares) and Linda Marciano (Reno Finds Her Mind), and the many people who have participated in the workshops of this interactive work.

Why I Do This

My work aims to create live, intimate community by exploring universal subjects that connect us. My interactive plays create community through the performance: To use humor, personal storytelling, and most of all the audience themselves to create a deep sense of connection and inclusion. Unlike most stand-up comics or audience participation shows, I never make comedy at the expense of the audience. I create a space for them to shine.

Live performance has an opportunity to do what our Congress and perhaps our real courts are failing to do: Be a public space in we can be whole together. I’m interested in creating experiences that challenge folks as well as bring them together. The commons is shrinking quickly in this nation, with conversations, academic and otherwise, happening more and more between folks who already agree with each other, listening to more of what they already think. Performance has the opportunity to strengthen bonds as they can bring folks together who are different, or already in disagreement. “Creating the space” has everything to do with whether or not we’ll truly be able to explore disagreement, or just talk at each other. My goal is to have people leave the show thinking, laughing and feeling connected to themselves and each other.



Copyright © 1998-2014 Heather Gold. Everything I made is licensed under Creative Commons nc

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