Spotlight on The Hive: Into the Void with Elise Hanson
Nothing. It is a word that conjures flashes of a popular sitcom written by a New York comic and his pal. The Hive Theatre Company’s latest project–Bupkis: A Play About Nothing–is really something. I now appreciate the challenge of creating work that has no discernible point beyond entertainment. And to write for esteemed friends and peers, well–that’s just icing.
It was something I had never considered before, as a writer. Ever a fan of absurdist works, there were times when my writing would dance along the edge of fecklessness, but it never completely dove in, submerging in absolute void. The suggestion that performance art or literature could exist entirely and wholly “just because” tickled me, and so I sat down to write up a piece that bore no symbolism, metaphor, growth, or depth. I must say, I enjoyed it. As both a performer and a patron of theater, the idea of sitting down to watch a piece created for the sole purpose of having no purpose at all seems far too anomalous to pass up. And, incidentally, that is precisely what it is like to work with this theater company in general.
What can be said of my time with The Hive? It would be easy for me to go on about pushing boundaries, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, creating and participating in art that is as gelastic as it is poignant, but I think the ultimate experience one gets from spending time with this deft little company is an overwhelming sense of fun, and the notion that what you’re part of and what you’re witnessing is simply interminably cool.
With Bupkis, an audience member can expect to find respite from the usual fare, an intermission from the maudlin, and a break from significance. That, and it’s just damn funny.