RUN-ning between opposites

This post was written by HHG Theatre co-artistic director Mindy Parfitt, discussing a new project called RUN that she’s developing with Amber Funk Barton.


Amber and I had our first week intensive, starting to uncover our new piece RUN. The focus of the week was really about sharing our practices with each other. Seeing how we will work together and what may be possible. RUN builds upon a collaboration which started during This Stays in the Room. Amber built a choreography that she and I danced in unison. It was added too and finessed each day. Part way through the week we began to play with text and ways of incorporating it into movement. Although this isn’t a new idea, it’s a source or intrigue and exploration that we both are interested in pursuing. We had asked Antoine Bedard (our sound designer) to supply us with a couple minutes of sound that we could use as inspiration. It was wonderful to have him in the room in this kind of way. And it was also great to have our frequent collaborator Heidi Taylor from PTC in the room, both to lend her critical eye and to take some great photos.


Photo by PTC Artistic Executive Director Heidi Taylor.

Our initial thematic jumping off point was gender fluidity. Looking at what lay between our society’s binary approach to gender. Before the intensive I was doing some research which forced me to encounter my own discomfort at discussing this issue. I felt that it wasn’t my story to tell and that I would get lost in all the intricacies and subtleties of people’s gender identification. What I became more interested in was the people surrounding those who are grappling with gender fluidity, specifically how they deal with challenges placed upon. The idea of accepting (or not) something that feels completely unacceptable. I’m interested in those places, not only as they relate to gender fluidity, but in many other facets of our life.


Photo by PTC Artistic Executive Director Heidi Taylor.

So we played with some text, which was predominantly direct address, that dealt with this idea. I’m interested in gathering found text, personal stories, plays, poems or academic writing that looks at this idea of confronting something that feels unsurmountable. If you have anything that you thnk may be of interest, please send my way to

Amber and I can’t wait to get back in the room in February.


Photo by PTC Artistic Executive Director Heidi Taylor.

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