LIDLESS performances are Thursday - Saturday June 2 - 18, 2016 @ 8PM and Monday June 13, 2016 @ 8PM at Fresh Arts Gallery
located in Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter St., Houston, TX 77007.
Tickets are $25, student and industry discounts are available at the door.
All special events following the theatrical performance are included in the ticket price.
For more information and tickets, please visit www.horseheadtheatre.org.
A surreal drama about the aftermath of America’s War on Terror
LIDLESS boldly asks, what happens after war is over? What do we remember? What do we forget? What do we fabricate? Set in 2019, LIDLESS follows Alice, a former Guantánamo Bay interrogator who remembers nothing, Bashir, her former detainee who remembers everything, and Rhiannon, Alice's boldly imaginative daughter who is determined to understand.
Fifteen years after Alice (Mischa Hutchings, Horse Head and Catastrophic Theatre) served as an interrogator at Guantánamo Bay, she has successfully reinvented herself and suppressed all memories of her prior life—mostly through the aid of pharmaceuticals. Now in 2019, Alice lives contentedly in Minnesota with her loving husband, Lucas (Rick Evans), teenage daughter Rhiannon (Tanith Albright, Sam Houston State University), and lifelong friend Riva (Deeba Ashraf, Shunya Theatre and Next Iteration Theatre)… that is until Bashir (Herman Gambhir, Stages Repertory Theatre) appears at her florist shop, confronting Alice with the horrifying reality of her long-forgotten time at Guantánamo. As compensation for the suffering he endured, Bashir asks Alice to donate part of her liver and save what remains of his life. Meanwhile, Alice’s daughter Rhiannon relentlessly uncovers her mother’s past, just as Bashir infiltrates their family’s present.
LIDLESS is a daring and searingly poetic exploration of the nature of trauma, the conflicting eroticism and brutality of violence, and the human spirit’s resilience on the edge of extremity.
The 9/11 attacks propelled the United States into a minefield of national trauma. “Suddenly, the country was forced to confront our sense of identity, both as a nation and on personal levels of race, culture, gender, and religion,” explains LIDLESS director Alison Christy, a University of Houston MA graduate and Kansas University Ph.D candidate with a background in performance studies with a specialization in the staging of war trauma. “Soon after the attacks, all forms of media were saturated with patriotic narratives and suggestions for ways the United States could heal itself. LIDLESS continues this conversation by pushing back against predominant black-and-white and good vs. evil narratives.”
LIDLESS recasts the American-made archetypal Muslim enemy as a character worthy of empathy, compassion, and understanding; and presents the war and its aftermath from an unconventional and underrepresented perspective, the female combat veteran. By giving voices to marginalized groups and highlighting the experiences of courageous women, Horse Head Theatre Co.’s production of LIDLESS seeks to expand and explore the intersections of history and memory.
Given the political, provocative, and sometimes difficult nature of LIDLESS’ subject matter, the task of mediating the space between ideas and situations performed on stage and the national rhetoric becomes a difficult one. However, Horse Head is known for their fearlessness; they welcome a challenge. “Horse Head is committed to producing theatre that inspires and challenges its audiences,” says Artistic Director Jacey Little. “HH’s norm is to articulate this through an audience-driven phenomenological experience. Consistent with our brand, audiences can expect to be plunged into the world of LIDLESS, but also to engage in an informed dialogue with this surreal, post-war story.”
With the support of community partners Amnesty International Houston Group 23, the Houston Peace and Justice Center, and Grace After Fire; Horse Head will present a special Engagement Programming event series, running in tandem with LIDLESS. Following the 60-minute phenomenological pre-show and theatrical performance, audiences will be invited to stay for an expert guest speaker presentation on topics connected with LIDLESS, including: the War on Terror, Guantanamo Bay, trauma studies, gender studies, Islamic culture, and more. Following the 15 minute presentation, LIDLESS theatrical artists will join the guest speaker for an open-forum Q & A session. All Engagement Programming events will be included in the LIDLESS theatre ticket price.