You Know How I Feel
created at Bush Theatre, London
performed at the IFTR and ASTR conferences, and at University of the Pacific
My name is Will Wilson, and this show is about me.
A young man with a bag of oats, a dog, and an idealistic will to live off the land, runs to find himself in the mountains of California. Forty years later, another young man, his son, chases after him, the father he should have known but never did.
James is a researcher, and he wants to make a show. One that captures him, really. He's always been told he looks like him, acts like him, sounds like him, is like him. But he doesn't know how to play him. He conducts his research, does his interviews, puts on the right costumes, eats the right food, re-stages old pictures and movies. He's losing sleep. But the more he learns, the more he obsessively pursues Will, the further away he seems.
You Know How I Feel, a solo performance, is the unexpected result of a practice-as-research project on social play-making. It is a show about trying to know someone who's not there.
About the project:
In my research, I have proposed a shift from a discourse of "collaboration" to one of "social authorship," which evaluates co-creation and participation on more neutral terms and from a different perspective: that of the primary authors of performances. This project, initially conceived as a devising project with a writer that would explore modes of social authorship in collaboration, became, for both creative and practical reasons, a solo performance. This dramatic and unexpected turn in the creative process served to test the boundaries of social authorship. I was no longer a collaborator, but I was, certainly, a social author; I now delineated in performance a new mode of social creation, and indeed a new social conception of myself.
This project began its life as 'The Family History Project'