I Cannot Be There, But I Am Here

Friday June 21, 2019
Doors 8pm | Performance 8:30pm

Room 4
474 Haywood Rd, Second Floor 
Asheville, NC


5 East Broadway, #402 
New York, NY


New York places a call. A small southern city answers, this time from it’s doorway. You are asked to come in and look around.

I Cannot Be There, But I Am Here is a Twitch-stream reading between Natalia Panzer (NYC), Frances Daugherty (NYC), and Johanna Owen (Asheville, NC). For one night, Room 4 of Asheville, NC and Lubov (Room 402) of New York, New York will share a space that is contingent upon their virtual correspondence while performing in two places at once for an audience that will span the eastern coastline. We are in the time of many-to-many.

The script experiences placehood in an interstitial zone formed by anecdotal data, observational poetry, investigative journalism, and soap opera. Solitary gamers of the flesh world navigate overlapping walkthroughs of personal maps. Intersections form at the corners where we roam, intoxicated, en route to that ever-elusive “home.” You are accosted, agitated, loomed-over by authority figures and disoriented strangers. You are stumbling along the path of four conversing stories. Transportation, by train or by highway, is drama on its way to itself.

The Southeastern USA is full of vast spaces, but empty of free spaces. In New York, the corridors clamor with interstices of no-man’s-land. Frances muses on a past of Eastern North Carolina’s outer-urban subdivisions. Johanna loots and is looted at the height of Western North Carolina’s real-estate boom. A group of quake-dealers are vignetted in Gastown. Natalia bears witness on the train from New York to Newark.

It begins like this: You loot a foreclosed home of molding familial artifacts, including a crystal bowl. A ponderosa pine falls over one day, separating the new homes from the old. The power goes out in your bedroom. Your flashlight rolls under the crystal bowl, projecting its carvings all over the walls. You climb over the tree to return the bowl to an Episcopal church across the street. A public service truck stalls with its headlights on. It is parked in front of the tree for several hours. This year’s first full moon lingers overhead. You wait for New York to call.