Every interview is videotaped and transcribed afterward. These videos are studied by Kaycee and any actors who perform the piece, but are otherwise kept private to protect the sensitive nature of the interviews and the identities of the participants. Kaycee begins each interview the same way, by giving participants three possible entry points into talking about their relationships to their bodies:
"Is there a time where you felt like you fully inhabited your body for the first time? Or was there a time that you felt completely disconnected from your body?"
"Thinking about the body generally, theoretically, what do you think the universal purpose of the body is?"
"How does your body inform your identity? For example, if you identify yourself strongly as a dancer, an athlete, a mother, etc."
Each interview also ends with the same question: "If you were to title your body, to say 'my body is (my) ____,' what would you say?" Sometimes people have answers for this question right away. Most often it takes some time, and answers have ranged anywhere from "Prison" to "Playground."
Interviews, some of which last 30 minutes and others 2 hours, are then transcribed in full by Kaycee. Interviews are transcribed exactly to preserve the integrity of the participants' speaking patterns, stumbles, and in-the-moment realizations, right down to the "ums" and "uhs."
After an interview is transcribed, Kaycee chooses a section she feels is most representative of the conversation and incorporates it into the show as a monologue. Monologues are full, complete thoughts from the interviewee, and not pieced-together snippets from different parts of the interview.
There is generally no time limit to interviews and Kaycee refrains from interjecting with questions unless a participant gets stuck or there is something that needs more exploring. In this way, participants are allowed to form their thoughts, remember experiences, and come to realizations on their own, in their own time. We aren't often given the opportunity to freely talk about our bodies, and the most telling parts of interviews typically come after exhausting the parts we've rehearsed.
Choosing only a handful of over sixty interviews to present is the hardest part. The aim is to make the piece representative in terms of gender identity, race, class, sexual orientation, age and ability, though it is impossible to ensure that every type of story is represented (unless you're willing to sit through 7.4 billion monologues!). Each interviewee selected for inclusion is given a moniker that relates to their story or chosen identity (Doofus, Family Man, Little Weirdo, Poet). The final project is carefully constructed to offer heartbreaking realism with humorous relief, in an 18-monologue, 55 minute, work of storytelling and solo performance.
If you are interested in becoming a part of BODY Play and would like to tell your story, please visit the Contact page.