The expression “from the mouths of babes” is an especially apt description of a SummerWorks Live Art Series piece I saw yesterday afternoon: Child Psychologist. Created by Philip McKee, Rose Plotek and Amy Chartrand, the piece is a performance experiment that explores the possibility of gaining insight from children as a form of therapy.
Set up in a talk show format in the Theatre Centre BMO Incubator, McKee takes on the role of moderator/host, with Chartrand as the subject and Plotek taping the proceedings. The topic is love and relationships. Chartrand shares her experiences, including her current difficulty getting over a relationship that ended a couple of years ago.
They go on to enlist the aid of four children: Nina (16), Eli (12), Sadie (7) and Eva (4). Starting from with the oldest and finishing with the youngest, McKee called each kid up and ask him/her about Chartrand’s situation – and get some remarkably astute, not to mention hilarious, responses and advice. My favourite comments came from Eli, who thought that perhaps Chartrand was having trouble differentiating between a crush and love. And I also loved his reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series when Chartrand was asking for answers, to which he replied, “42.”
Child Psychologist was a one-performance only piece at this year’s SummerWorks, but be sure to look out for future work from Philip McKee, Rose Plotek and Amy Chartrand (who, ironically, also works as a wedding officiant).