Destroy She Said

Inspired by Caryl Churchill’s play The Skriker (1994), Destroy She Said tells the story of an ancient and damaged fairy – named the Skriker – who continually shape-shifts into a plethora of objects and people while warning them of the approaching environmental apocalypse. Destroy She Said remains a cautionary story that uses fairytale to project hard truths. In this mutation, skrikers multiply into a triadic-force and rise from the underworld into the Gland of Suburbia. They have come to answer the call: who said destroy? who is she? what is being destroyed? >>>  the self? the family? the society? the system? the environment? 

Something is not right in the Gland of Suburbia…

Destroy She Said is not a written play but an evolving performance collage of textual sources and juxtaposed imagery throughout the work. It is a disjointed narrative that points to the difficulty of dealing with trauma, and an attempt at highlighting the “mess” of contemporary human experience. In Destroy She Said, there is no guarantee of any one meaning but rather an invitation for the viewer to attend multiple worlds at once.

Text fragments from: Caryl Churchill (The Skriker), Britney Spears (Oops I did it Again), Moother Gose (Hush Little Baby, Don’t Say A Word), Walter Benjamin (On the Concept of History), Marquerite Duras (The Lover), Daphne du Maurier (The Birds), María Irene Fornés (Fefu and her Friends), Ursula K. Le Guin (The City of Illusions), Peggy Lee (Is That All There Is?), Edward Gorey (The Gashlycrumb Tinies: A Very Gorey Alphabet), Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order), soundbites from Nadia Bolz-Weber (American pastor), Jim Rogers (American financial commentator and author) and stand-up comics Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, Maria Bamford, and Michelle Wolf.  Various select Twitter Tweets and the use of improvised text via free association/stream of consciousness by the performers; a collage of word play!

Production History:

Phase I:

Destroy She Said is a long-term devising project that began in 2013 as part of an artistic residency at Mile Zero Dance in Edmonton, AB, with performers Patricia AllisonGeorgia Irwin and Jeannie Vandekerkhove. Photos by Mia van Leeuwen, Raquel Fanjul and Daniela Masellis.

Collage of Destroy She Said by Sylvia Grist

Phase II:

The work morphed into a second-phase / 30-minute performance at the Young Lungs Dance Exchange Production Series in 2015 with performers Tanja Woloshen, Ming Hon and Natasha Torres-Garner and mentor Praba Pilar. Lighting by Steve Hunnie.

Photographs by Lise McMillan.

Phase III:

Thanks to the support of the Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and a University of Lethbridge Research Fund, the work premiered a full-length production, in Winnipeg June 14-16, 2018, with collaborators Natasha Torres-Garner, Ming Hon, Charlene van Buekenhout and Alexandra Elliott. Stage Managed by Angelica Schwartz. Sound Design by Davis Plett. Costume + Set by Brenda McLean and Mia van Leeuwen. Visuals by Jaymez. Production photography by Leif Norman.

Have you noticed the large number of meteorological phenomena lately? Earthquakes. Volcanoes. Drought. Apocalyptic meteorological phenomena. The increase of sickness. It was always possible to think, whatever your personal problem, there’s always nature. Spring will return even if it’s without me. Nobody loves me but at least it’s a sunny day. This has been a comfort to people as long as they’ve existed. But it’s not available anymore. Sorry. Nobody loves me and the sun’s going to kill me. Spring will return and nothing will grow. Some people might feel concerned about that. But it makes me feel important. I’m going to be around when the world as we know it ends. I’m going to witness unprecedented catastrophe. I like a pileup on the motorway. I like the kind of war we’ve been having lately. I like snuff movies. But this is going to be the big one.”

— Caryl Churchill, The Skriker

Destroy She Said, Young Lungs Production Series, 2015
Destroy She Said, Young Lungs Productions Series, 2015