You may be moved to tears, or amused, or bored, or annoyed. Just so long as you think.
This is a show about how we look at babies.
We give ourselves permission to look at babies we don’t know – even to touch and play with them – all the time.
Why do we do this? What does the connection with a baby (or, in this case, observing the love between a baby and its grandmother) do for us, that no other experience can?
Could it be that the baby forces us to look at ourselves? A baby cannot perform; it gives the most truthful performance imaginable. So for better or worse we see a baby as a mirror.
This then is a show as much about the audience as the performer. It is anti-theatre.
If we are looking at ourselves, what should we ask? What should we ponder, about how we look at babies? We use babies’ images to sell us cellphones and cars and water – and a baby cannot choose to appear in those advertisements. It cannot choose to appear in a social media feed. This baby did not agree any more than the babies that sell cars or water or phones, but we hope that by keeping its name a secret we allow it to choose later whether it owns this experience.
For the show to work, our baby must be ‘any’ baby. We don’t tell its name or its gender (we say ‘it’ because there is no better word – ‘he or she’ or ‘they’ doesn’t work well in English) so the audience will look at the baby with as few expectations as it can. This is not to dehumanise the baby, but acknowledge that it could be any of us.
Come look at this baby. Come look at all babies. Come look at ourselves.