Theatre for One is a performance space concept by Christine Jones, a set designer with an impressive c.v.. It strikes me immediately as a confession box stage with room to take a bow.
By distilling the relationship between performer and audience into a space private enough to feel extremely intimate, but safe enough to allow the audience member a full range of responses, could the likelihood of a transcendent experience be increased?
I realized there were precedents for this kind of space, namely peep show booths and confessionals, as well as psychotherapy offices, phone booths, Maxwell Smart’s cone of silence, and any two seats next to each other in which the departure and arrival time create their own spatial intimacy.
I am also reminded of Joseph Beuys’ performance piece “I Like America, and America Likes Me,” in which he shared a small room with a coyote for 3 days and viewers were invited to watch him through a small window in the door.
One should never compare a venue to a performance, I understand, but the allure of concentrated voyeurism unites the two. And in this case, I believe you can interpret the structure as an art installation. Imagine asking two strangers to step into the box. One watches the other perform. Then you ask them to switch. Afterwards, you might suggest to the two participants that even when they were the audience member and not the performer, they were performing the role of audience. The structure suggested to them a role and they responded with their interpretation of that role.
I would be so intimidated to perform to a single witness. Everything about this concept excites me. I would also like a crane to pick up the box during the performance so that when it is over we have to sky dive back to the bus.