“Snake oil” is a performance series centered on exploring American health insurance during the dawn of Obama Care. The piece was developed out of personal interviews with a variety of all-age Chicago natives.
In the first iteration of the work the audience was brought into a dark room and then led into a dark 8' by 8' square space, the space was defined by four fabric walls that hung from shower curtain hooks that easily slid open and closed from all sides. The audience was placed into the small space and then given the directive to look and migrate anywhere within the enclosed space. As the lights illuminated the exterior surrounding areas, the fabric walls transformed into projection screens, and theater curtains, revealing 11 separate and continuous scenes on all four sides of the audience. The scenes utilized modern dance, poetry, music and spoken word to tell fragmented moments of the stories gathered through the interviews.
The piece's non-traditional performance space/theater-in-the-round led to a sense of illusion and vaudevillian mystery that intended to mirror elements of the selected stories, highlighting a sense of confusion towards why so many individual in the United States do not have access to proper healthcare.
In the second iteration, the work was restaged for Chicago based dance company Mordine and Company's 2013 Hamlin Park spring concert. In the Mordine and Company version, the piece was set in a traditional proscenium format. The storytelling was accomplished through the dance choreography and an audio soundscape.