face the mirror is a full-length concert theater piece that explores and illuminates what it means (or might mean) to be a victim, survivor, or casualty of sexual assault. It follows a central character who is more of a placeholder: she could be one person or as many as you can imagine. Aided and abetted by the sound of a trumpet, our fearful leader wades through tales and questions of memory, reputation, personal safety, and more.
At its core, face the mirror is about relationships: the ones we have with our friends, with our family, with strangers, with the public, with ourselves. It asks audiences to lead with their compassion and empathy as they are immersed in a world in which only two things are crystal clear: this woman has been attacked, and she is very, very afraid. Anger, confusion, and frustration further color the picture, but she’s trapped within a cycle of aggression and uncertainty—and the only way out is through.
The current iteration of face the mirror includes works by Megan DeJarnett, Cecilia Arditto, Pauline Oliveros, Ben Patterson, Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons, and Franz Joseph Haydn. It features choreography by Sofia Klass. A workshop version of face the mirror premiered on March 3, 2019 in the Roy O. Disney Concert Hall at CalArts. Watch the performance here.
face the mirror is a concert theater piece about sexual assault, rape culture, and the many perspectives of victimhood. Though we do not at any point graphically portray a sexual assault, we do use fight choreography and other physical actions that may be upsetting to some audience members.
As artists, we want to push you to consider ideas, perspectives, and experiences that may normally be outside your comfort zone, but we don’t want to do that at the expense of your health and wellbeing. If you find yourself in a dark place during or after tonight’s performance, please consider resources including the following:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: (800) 656-4673
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255
CalArts After Hours Counseling: (855) 364-7981
Click here to access a PDF copy of the current program (for the March 3, 2019 performance). If you benefit from knowing exactly what you’re walking into, click here for a complete scene-by-scene breakdown of face the mirror.
Arditto, musica invisible (2005)
DeJarnett, Don’t Tell (2016)
DeJarnett, got it all together (2019)
DeJarnett, Panic I (2019)
DeJarnett, Panic II (2019)
DeJarnett, Stanford swimmer (2019)
DeJarnett, stories/walk free (2019)
Haydn, Trumpet Concerto (mvt. II) (Haydn II.1/II.2/II.3)
Marks and Simons, All of Me (1931)
Patterson, Instruction No. 2 (Please Wash Your Face)
Oliveros, The Witness (1989)