San Francisco

Lauren Elder

Theater Artaud

Although billed as “environmental theater,” Lauren Elder’s immensely ambitious multidisciplinary performances encompass far more than mere drama. Like her earlier work Off Limits, 1989, Surrender is a sprawling, archetypal story with a narrative thread that twists into knots at times, guiding the audience from event to dream to memory, but always wandering back to the story at hand. This temporal movement is echoed by the frequent physical relocation of both players and audience in and around the hangar-sized space of the theater. Surrender also shifts from spoken text to singing, chanting, and instrumental interludes.

The story, roughly speaking, is about Tom, a test pilot who negligently crashes his jet in the Nevada desert, killing his copilot and best friend, Petey. After encountering a young bike-riding Chicano boy at the crash site, Tom meets some very interesting characters who have

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