This site-specific performance pays homage to the late Playhouse Theater (housed in the building next door to HCCC), one of the largest theaters-in-the-round in the nation in the early 1950s. On February 21st, the 68th anniversary of the Playhouse’s opening night, Bui and Huynh will transform HCCC’s parking lot into a temporary space in which audience members and performers will interact through “vehicles-in-the-round,” arranged to explore the personal narratives of each artist.
For many queer artists, especially in Houston, the car is a living archive of existence, representing a place of safety and refuge, a place to change, to hook-up, to cruise, to transition, to escape, to curate experiences, and to be authentic. By creating a vehicular theater-in-the-round, Bui and Huynh invite the audience to engage in the experiences of seven artists, while referencing the intimate style of the pioneering Playhouse Theater, which successfully broke down barriers between actors and audiences.
The performance will feature performances by Antonius Bui (performance and craft), Emilý Æyer(sound and performance), S Rodriguez (sound and interactive performance, queer sci-fi literature), Devin Kenny (multidisciplinary sculpture), Junior Fernandez (photography), Post Modern Sleaze (performance), and Duke Diesel (performance).
The event falls on the opening night of Experimental Action (ExA), Houston’s biennial international performance art festival, in which Bui will also perform. Experimental Action is a three-day festival that facilitates and shines a spotlight on experimental performance, showcasing both local and international artists and exposing Houston audiences to innovative performance art. ExA will take place February 21-23.