Chuck. Chuck. Chuck. is a collage of performance, video, music, and dance that uses William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying as a departure point for a broader examination of failure, secular faith and family.
The subject of the piece, and of the novel, is a family’s arduous attempt to return their dead mother to her birthplace for burial. It is an endeavor repeatedly described as pointless and futile by all who encounter them on their travels. Failure follows the Bundren family throughout with the daughter’s inability to procure an abortion drug, a son’s thwarted efforts to burn his mother’s coffin and a flood that causes the family to lose their mules and another son to lose his leg. These failures are consumptive and spectacular, upending the already delicate balance that has allowed this family to survive. Through a combination of emotional inadequacy, dysfunction and unhappy circumstance (complicated by their social and economic position), we bear witness to the disintegration of a family and the failure of love or even familial bonds to rescue them.