Y2 Project Update: Astrology + Spirituality
This coming Sunday, we’ll be having our first readthrough of our Y2 project, written by Emily Zemba. We decided nearly a year ago that this project would tackle astrology, spirituality and wellness in the 21st century – a broad heading, to be sure, but also a fascinating one.
We began the research process early 2020. As a company we took a deep-dive into the art of Horoscope, Tarot, Turkish Coffee Cup, and other various forms of spiritual analysis. We performed readings for each other, and invited experts and professional readers into our workshops to facilitate live-readings and discuss their relationship to their craft. We dug into mysticism… and sent company members to visit a local Brooklyn forum whose mission was to create space for the unexplained. We dared ourselves to step out of our comfort zones as skeptics, and interrogated where we all personally stood on the spectrum of “belief.” We shared with each other our own private premonitions, dreams, and our own most ‘spiritual’ experiences.
In March, the Pandemic hit full force, and we were forced to adapt. Our in-person meetings moved to Zoom. We continued our work with 21st century spirituality and wellness… but our personal interests and perspectives changed. Our research expanded quickly to exploring spiritual figures on social media – YouTube, Instagram, etc. We interrogated wellness as both a necessity and commodity in times of collective crisis… and considered the motives of our most beloved and followed spiritual leaders and Astrology Apps.
Company members brought in more personal experiences with numerology, animal totems, mediumship, and past-life regressions. We invited a Shaman to join us and guide us through a virtual meditation to meet our spirit animals. As our play workshops continued, some company members left the state to move in with family, or simply to escape the hellscape of a city in a medical emergency. Still, we kept the appointment on Zoom.
We researched the history of spiritual movements – what societal circumstances allowed them to rise? What happens to our collective spiritual rhythms when the world around us shifts? We crafted a long-form Zoom improv, composed of characters riddled with various personal and spiritual crises. We talked about ‘inciting events’ in the context of spiritual change and belief. At the tops and bottoms of meetings, we aired our personal concerns about the state of our theater, of our government, of our world, of our own mental health. We expressed gratitude for having an ‘appointment’ to keep in these unprecedented and workless times. How long will we work on this project, we asked. What’s next, we asked. Somehow, it seems, the deeper we fell into the reality and uncertainty of our own time… the more we immersed ourselves into the research for this play.
By late spring 2020, we concluded Y2 workshops on ‘spirituality’ to focus on other projects, and to let Emily write.
Now we take the next step: digging into a draft of a script, and discussing how this topic — astrology, spirituality and wellness in the 21st century — and this play has evolved, and will evolve as 2021 finally arrives.
If you’d like to check out some of the materials that SOCIETY has used during our research process, check out the links below: