Friendly Fire (a coronation)

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A performance, video and Zoom event in 3 Acts

Creator, Writer & Co-Rona: Dorit Cypis
Director: Chris Tyler
Dramaturge: Johanna Cypis
Video Editor: Peter Wu
Coliseum #2: Rook Campbell
Prop Construction: Matt Warren

Everything has shifted under and around us. It’s a new world order with broken old world structures. We need to relocate our bodies spatially, temporally and socially. How do we assess conditions with new eyes, ears, minds and bodies to weave our ways towards developing generative models for who we want to be to ourselves and to one another?

Friendly Fire is a performance, video and Zoom event exploring how histories are embodied and refracted by us, often unconsciously. Even as we hold elevated principals and values, we often get blind-sighted to how we actually treat each other.

In Act 1, we meet Co-Rona, our protagonist, as she lands disoriented in the new pandemic world, struggling to locate herself. She blindly carries a collar around her shoulders: half of a Roman coliseum – an architecture of the past representing power, competition and spectatorship. As we join her on her journey through space and time, we examine through facilitated reflection how the conflicts of the world between us can simultaneously live within us.

Friendly Fire is phase 3 of One Another, which began in early 2019 as an exploration of identity and social relations. Phases 1 + 2 explored how constructed labels of diversity (race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc…) transformed into Identity Politics that questioned systemic oppression while stimulating divisive and reactive behaviors between allies. One Another asked: who we could be to one another while working towards social change?

Since March 2020, the pandemic abruptly changed our social engagement into one of distancing and isolation. One Another shifted its focus to consider the internal landscape of how we inhale the traumas of social histories – thereby trapping us into reactive behavior – in order to meet one another with fresh attention, insight and openness.

Dorit Cypis is an artist, educator and mediator fusing strategies of performance, media, social engagement and communication skill building for participatory contexts, including museums, cultural centers and civic community groups. “Who are we to one another” is a core question of her decades-long practice exploring identity and social relations. She founded PeoplesLab in 2018 to offer consulting, training and mediation on how we can transform conflict into possibility. Dorit holds advanced degrees from California Institute for the Arts and Pepperdine University/Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, has received awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has published and taught nationally and internationally. She was born in Israel, raised in Canada, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.