Time Passes

Sharon Hayes & Brooke O’Harra
2011 & 2019

Time Passes is an ongoing collaboration between Brooke O’Harra and Sharon Hayes that takes the audio book of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse as its spine.

The audio book and showing are composed of three parts:
Part I, The Window             00:00:00 to 04:43:37
Part II, Time Passes             35 minutes
Part III, The Lighthouse     05:23:54 to 07:56:10

The performance is an 8-hour continuous event with Brooke, me, our kid Alice, and our dog, Cosmos. We are interested (and challenged!) in this project, by time. We perform with and through the book in its entirety as a proposal-in-performance and occupy Woolf’s deeply gendered containers of time and thought. In Woolf’s text, thought circulates about and as relationships–social relationships and familial relationships but also relations to desire, ambition and aesthetics, relations to race, class and the nation-state, relations to politics and to knowledge.

“I will invent a new name for my books to supplant ‘novel’.  A new _______ by Virginia Woolf.  But what?”  — (Virginia Woolf June, 1925)

Motivated by the way in which To the Lighthouse embraces landscapes of thought over or as action. We take up Woolf’s challenge of form to find a new relationship, for ourselves, to live performance.

Virginia Woolf was forty-four when she wrote the novel To the Lighthouse in 1926, eight years after the end of World War I. We gravitated toward this novel in 2011, when we were approaching Woolf’s age ourselves, and were about to have a kid. We performed this piece for the first time, May 2011, when Brooke was eight months pregnant with Alice. That reality placed us inside a perplexing set of reflections that moved constantly backward and forwards. Reflections encompassing a whole field of desires, actions, and emotions: some fulfilled, some discarded and some never realized. This first showing of Time Passes attempted to sketch out, in the broadest of strokes, the beginnings of our interest in this work.  The second performance dug deeper but, in embarking on the piece again, it became  clear to us that this work will always be in process. We’ve begun to articulate a form or structure of deep and sustained listening in which we’re interested in the interaction between voice, emotion, thought, desire, activity, and words.

The first iteration of the work was performed May 8, 2011 at the Performing Garage in New York City. The second iteration was performed February 2, 2019 at the Neighborhood House, Christ Church, Philadelphia.

We hope to perform Time Passes several more times over the course of our lifetimes.

Production Credits, Performing Garage, May 2011:
Project assistants: Ahram Jeong and Karoline Vielemeyer
Additional support: Mike De Angelis, Hye Young Chyun, Jessica Robbins, Feliz Soloman, Chip Rodgers, Leanne Chen-Keenan, and Elena Gageanu, Clay Hapaz, Andrea Geyer, The Wooster Group and staff of the Performing Garage, Lara Dubin and Mt. Holyoke College
Time Passes, May 2011, was presented as part of the Wooster Group’s Garage Residencies.

Production Credits, Neighborhood House, February 2019:
Invited Performers for the Dinner Scene:
Mr. Ramsey                           Louis Massiah
William Bankes                    Karen Redrobe
Charles Tansley                    Dixon Li
Augustus Carmichael          Heather Love
Paul Rayley                           Jonathan D’Rozario
Minta Doyle                          Ciara Brown

Lights and Technical Director: Andrea Rumble-Moore
Production Assistant and Video Technician: Emmanuela Soria Ruiz
Project/Event support: M Slater, Connie Yu, Julia Bloch, Rachel Zolf, Andrea Geyer, Harold Batista, Emily Sc and Frances Beaver

Time Passes, February 2019, was supported by a grant from the Velocity Fund administered by Temple Contemporary with generous funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts.