Teddy Roosevelt walks thru a snowy landscapes. The space where men go quiet. Men go small. He’s always looked for a place he can be small. Which has been hard to find since he got over being a sickly little boy. He twinks his Moustache, looks around. Sighs.
Did I mention he is played by a petite actress named Kristen Sieh who wears a fatsuit, a fake Moustache. Glasses. She looks around, as strong as a thousand horses, captured inside her tiny frame distorted by the lines of the padded suit. She could rule the world. In fact, she does. He does. And this is his empire, this park, all that is good in American. He speaks American. In fact some would say he invented the language. The conquering of the west. He is a cowboy walrus. All the space. The space where he can be all that his national myth was ever meant to be. Fated to be. He is certain of it after his asthmatic childhood that it was always meant to be in the here and now as he stands in his national park.
And approximately 70 years later a bloated man with sideburns and a terrible stomach lies facedown on a toilet, having shut himself inside from the world. Having created his own world.
Did I mention this man too is a woman, only slightly less petite, beautiful, now distorted, face caked with vomit and spittle. Libby King. Former soccer star now lies face down on a toilet in a bulging suit filled with fantasies of bacon and peanut-butter-banana sandwiches. She is Elvis Presley.
The former and always present.
This is RoosevElvis.
A duet about spaces large and tiny, universes in which we trap ourselves and the landscapes we create for other inhabitants – whether they like it or not.
Co-Commissioned by Brooklyn’s Bushwick Starr, and London’s Gate Theatre and Almeida Theatre.
First Workshop: July 2012, London
Premiere: Sometime 2013