In Trailblazer Production’s Touch: Incarnation, the sensations are constant: elegant fingers gently squeezing, poking, and tapping along my body. Robbed of my sight, I am able to focus on my other senses, and none is more important now than touch. This connection, fleeting and fervent, with those around me, as their skin briefly presses against mine, feels almost holy. A woman’s voice asks what does it mean to be human?, but she doesn’t really want a response – she just wants me to consider it.
Tonight, I find myself in a realistic, futuristic world where touch is regulated, stifled and denied. So I do find myself considering the woman’s question: What does it mean to be human in a world where the act of physical connection is no longer “ours?” Touch: Incarnation is my introduction to a group, The Body Electric, that rails against a government that seeks to deny our very senses. It’s a short introduction to the world of Touch that hints at a broad, complex narrative, leaving me intrigued for what’s to come.
Incarnation is the 20-minute first installment of the Touch series, which will culminate in a full-length, small audience show on October 14th, 2019. Audiences are introduced to a dystopian world where what sounds like a good idea – implants that cause human skin to react to unwanted touch by changing colors – has gone predictably wrong and led to widespread government control of human contact. The Body Electric, presented here in Incarnation as a small group of resisters, seeks to remind as many people as they can that touch is not only an essential sense: It is fundamental to the human condition.
The team at Trailblazer Productions has, for lack of a better term, touched on something really interesting here with Incarnation. The set up itself is simple: guest enters, guest wears blindfold, guest does sense-based experiences as an intro to the world being built. And yet, despite this somewhat skeletal structure, the show gestures toward a wider scope, likely to be explored in the full Touch show, that’s worth paying attention to.
The minutes spent in Incarnation fly by, not really delving into the full message of Touch, but providing just enough to whet the appetite for the full run. Both experiences stand alone, so audiences need not worry about attending Touch without seeing Incarnation first, though both will likely tie together nicely.
I find myself considering Incarnation quite a bit in the days following my experience, wondering what my place in this unnervingly realistic world might be. Will I follow along with the status quo, or fight for the simple right of unfettered human contact? I look down at the lightning bolt on the inside of my wrist, pressed into my skin as I was sent on my way, and I think I already know the answer. We are electric, after all.
For more information on Trailblazer Productions and their upcoming shows, see their website and Facebook page, and read our interview with the creators HERE. Purchase tickets for Touch: Incarnation (running through September 14th) here. Tickets for Touch (running Sept 27-29, Oct 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20) are also on sale NOW. Be sure to follow our Event Guide for more immersive entertainment throughout the year.