2017 Summer Intensive: CB Goodman

This past June TMT hosted its 4th Summer Institute Intensive: a jam-packed week of exploration by our brilliant and bold fellows. We asked each of our five to reflect, in whatever format they wished, on their day of leading the Institute and what’s next in their journey.

A rocking hug outside while sitting amongst cigarette butts and tiny pieces of gravel that have been kicked up from winters and summers past. Cold, hot, dry, wet. Salt in her eyes and mouth.

A black beard. A note held in front of her, encouraging her, pushing her with a simple phrase in red colored ink, the paper torn at the edges.

Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. Stressful tacos. Who knew tacos could be stressful? This woman, we will call her Maddie, is middle aged and remembers the days when her hair was long and naturally blonde and climbing stairs took no effort. She sits at a table, her eyes closed, trying to summon the courage and the words. She walks around the block. Hands in her pockets of her linen overalls which are slightly itchy for some reason and she thinks maybe she needs to start using fabric softener and she wants to go home but then that is quitting and quitting is for quitters or quitting is for losers or quitting just sucks and she doesn’t want to quit but she doesn’t know what to do.


Plans of laughter and loving mistakes and unseen gifts drift farther away as her feet keep walking around and around the block. People are waiting.

Jack and Jill went up the hill. She’s walking in circles. She hates Jack and Jill and the Three Little Pigs and she is the wolf and wants to eat all the tacos why is she on a diet and trying to lose weight this week why did she agree to do any of this don’t people know she is a fake when are they going to kick her out and are there any tacos left and will they give her one.

A man in a turquoise skirt and jacket. Hands on hips.

An unpredictable large ball and a circle of chairs.

Metal stairs pressing into her legs. A trophy made of a dowel and plastic bottle and words coming from the actors and words coming from a detached voice.

An angel with two eight and a half by eleven inch paper wings fluttering in the sunlight coming down from a skylight where the woman, Maddie, had taken a nap earlier.

She thinks about a bus ride to the city and throwing up words and laughing. She thinks about the universe and sucking it into her belly and a hand on a window slowly dying. She thinks about lemonade and rain and a tree with writing she cannot read. She thinks about bicycles and temples and menstruation and sweet candy given to her by a stranger and getting paint on her pants. She thinks about cutting heads off of cowboys and wanting to talk to dogs.

She closes her eyes and finds the courage. She finds the words. She lets go.

My tummy’s turnin’ and I’m feelin’ kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I’m nervous
That’s when the taxi man turned on the radio
And a Jay-Z song was on
And the Jay-Z song was on
And the Jay-Z song was on
So I put my hands up
They’re playing my song, the butterflies fly away
I’m noddin’ my head like, ‘yeah’
I’m movin’ my hips like, ‘yeah’
I got my hands up, they’re playing my song
I know I’m gonna be okay
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A
Yeah, it’s a party in the U.S.A

I am currently exploring performance writing and narrative. This is an attempt to communicate the experience of my day and my week and the many weeks since participating in the summer Target Margin Theater Institute Fellowship Experiments.


CB Goodman creates theatre and puppetry that incorporates disparate source materials and object manipulation, blurring the lines between truth, lies, and theatricality. She also collaborates with others as a director and puppet designer, makes props, and teaches theatre making and design. Her next project, How To Kill An Elephant, is currently in development as an artist-in-residence at Dixon Place.

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