Tea Will Be Served was a mediated tea and conversation about how what we do shapes us into who we are. The performance premiered at Agape Enterprise in December 2011.
Guests were coordinated into pairs and asked to answer a series of questions focusing on the structure of daily behaviors. A set of serving exercises required guest participation, flipping the service expectation on its head. Rather than simply sitting and receiving a cup of tea, tables were wearable (and thus portable), and guests were guided as they moved around the space to collect the tea things. Interspersed with these activities, tea “menu” questions were asked in dialog. Each partner received a slightly different menu.
Tea Will Be Served primarily addressed the relationship between expectations and reality. Through a series of relatively normal behaviors turned on their heads, the performance explored how making strange can illuminate both the moment itself and our understanding of the everyday. The performance also aimed to make guests, rather than the artist, the central featured performers, generating the “watched” content for themselves as they experienced it. The artist served only as mediator and guide.
The wearable tea table was designed in collaboration with Mitch McEwen.