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Free 'Tableau Vivant' performance at Lighthouse Point on August 21

The collaborative ensemble Cmd-Z--directed by UCSC associate professor of art E. G. Crichton and Santa Cruz performance artist Lauren Crux--will present a tableau vivant performance piece titled Hark and Woe on Sunday, August 21. The free event will take place at 5 p.m, on the lawn in front of the Surfing Museum on West Cliff Drive at Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz.

Historically, a "tableau vivant" is a scene presented by costumed actors who remain silent and motionless as if in a picture. It was a custom in Victorian England, for example, for upper-class parties to enact the scene of a particular Renaissance painting. In Latin America and southern Europe, tableaux vivants have also played a role in Catholic liturgical processions. 

"We want to adapt this form of performance to a site-specific contemporary visual work that will both entertain and raise questions," said Crichton. "This dynamic tableau vivant performance is inspired by the politics of hope and humor in times of high anxiety."

Crichton added that the terms "Hark" and "Woe" are used to suggest two ends of the spectrum of human emotions, partially modeled after Victorian graveyard statues that portray female figures in postures of exaltation and grief. 

"The inspiration for our site is the surfer boy statue, a contemporary example of the heroic, idealized monument to fallen soldiers," said Crichton. "With grand gestures of exaltation and grief, Hark and Woe evokes failed heroes, unstable monuments, cranky mortals and other beings. Come lower your blood pressure and enjoy!"

For more information, contact E. G. Crichton at (831) 212-0725 or

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