Liminal’s first project was a performance of Sam Shepard’s play Suicide in B-Flat. It was performed at the PAN Theatre during a very warm Portland summer. Liminal’s version of Suicide in B-Flat, put two roguish detectives on the case to solve a violent and mysterious death. Suicide in B-Flat led Liminal into a world of anomalous initiations and deviant experiments that became the ensemble’s rite-of-passage. The production incorporated live musicians, programmed slide projections and physical action, Suicide in B-Flat inspired the dissolution of narrative structure and tension that now characterizes much of Liminal’s work.
Bryan Markovitz directed. John Berendzen and the Cat Jenkins Players produced live sound and music. The set was designed by Trent Moore. Slide projections were photographed and operated by Miro O. Chun and Kate Bowie. Chantel Saban designed the costumes. Julie Burtis designed the art. Cast members included Georgia Luce, Jeff Marchant, Jennifer Olson, Christoph Saxe, Rich Southwick, Victor Troxel and Jennifer Waldorf as The Intemperate Miss Macy.
Liminal’s first production incorporated a number of extraneous texts that defined liminal actions performed during the play, but outside of it. They were the original versions of what the ensemble eventually coined “liminal moments” that appear in our installations and performances from that point on. Our goal was to transgress Sam Shepard’s script at moments where the actors could simultaneously exist both inside and outside the world of the play. To perform these “text interpolations,” we had to violate our performing rights agreement with Samuel French, but it was worth the trouble.