New York-based writer and director Kevin Doyle has been selected as the sixth Saari Invited Artist. In September he will begin working at the Saari Residence for artists and researchers, maintained by Kone Foundation in Mynämäki.
Kevin Doyle (IE/US) works in theatre and film, both in Europe and the United States. In his works, he combines elements of the theatre, dance, film and music, using them to observe topical social issues. Last year, Doyle was shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting with his play when after all it was you and me (or the genocide play), which was completed during his residency at the Saari Residence in 2014.
At the Saari Residence, Doyle intends to write several plays that he has been developing for nearly two decades. One of them is called Asylum and follows the trajectory of a suburban American family for a period of 30 years through various changes in society and breakthroughs in technology. The television, Internet, game consoles, and mobile phones have taken over the lives of the family members, and they spend less and less time together. In the play, their suburban home is a sanctuary from the dangers of the outside world, but in the end it is transformed into an insane asylum. Finally, the various devices evolve into actual characters with a voice.
During his eight months of residency, Doyle also intends to work on some smaller pieces: experimental texts, installations, and media works. One of them deals with the structure of superhero movies and how little actual dialogue they contain.
“I have an obsession with this idea that a playwright is someone who composes with a space. I want to explore ways to make visible this gap that exists between reality and the version of reality created by our compressed and consolidated media. The gap between what we see in the media and what is actually going on is growing all the time. For example, what I saw when I drove across the United States in 2016, during the presidential election, did not reflect the reality one perceives on HuffPost or The New York Times website. I believe the theatre I make will compel some kind of reaction to ‘the gap’ and hopefully the desire to intervene. I want to investigate possibilities and strategies for solving this problem,” Doyle says.
Kevin Doyle’s plays include, for example, W.M.D. just the low points (2009), Behind the Bullseye (2009), The Position (2005), Compression of a Casualty (2004/2008) and THE AЯTS (2018).
Each year the Advisory Board of the Saari Residence presents the Board of Kone Foundation with a proposal for a Saari Invited Artist. The Board then selects the guest from among artists who have previously worked at the residence. Kevin Doyle worked at the Saari Residence in late 2014. The position of residency guest is not open to applications.
Previous Saari Invited Artists include Jaakko Niemelä, Jonimatti Joutsijärvi, Hanneriina Moisseinen, Matthew Cowan and Kristiina Drews.