“The Day Shall Declare It” by Wilderness

The Day Shall Declare It - Annie Saunders. Photo credit: Jonathan Potter.
The Day Shall Declare It – Annie Saunders. Photo credit: Jonathan Potter.


The Day Shall Declare It has been EXTENDED through July 31st.

The production will take a week off between the current run and the new show dates.

Created by Annie Saunders (co-director and performer) and Sophie Bortolussi (co-director & choreographer), The Day Shall Declare It is a physical theatre piece wherein the paths of three characters intersect. (The players are Annie Saunders, Anthony Nikolchev, and Chris Polick.) The décor and costumes are early 20th century (designed by Stephanie Pegano with additional costume design by Clare Amos), suggesting that the story is set during or after the Great Depression-era. The choreographed dynamic movement is interwoven with a collage of text / dialogue drawn from American literature authors such as Tennessee Williams and Studs Terkel.

Intrinsic to the show is its staging, within a now disused 1925 brick warehouse. It’s a vast, 3,000 square foot space that’s been reconfigured to create various rooms — all poetically rendered: a bar area, a rustic home kitchen, a large space with a claw-footed bathtub and jars of sand placed about, etc. There is no traditional seating; instead, the small audience (about 30 or so) follow the performers, and the action, from room to room.

Upon arrival, we all congregate in the bar. At around the 8.30PM mark, the actors begin performing amongst us. We see the central couple — Jane (Annie Saunders) and her suitor (Chris Polick) — meet, dance and fall in love. The action then moves to their ramshackle home. The marriage is still new, but torpor and disillusionment has begun to set in. Elegant dance movements indicate domestic collision and tension. The physical gestures suggest the struggle of a tempestuous marriage, as each person rhythmically pushes away then grasps one another. The choreography ripples outwards, too, so that when the actors need to move to a new part of the room, they gently push the audience members out of their way.

During this second scene, an oft-repeated refrain from the man is the nervy “I gotta keep moving!” — reminiscent of Stanley Kowalski’s caged animal (from Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire). “You are crazy!” Jane accuses him. “I just see things differently, that’s all!” he responds. Their fraught dialogue traces already well-worn paths, as he laments that their marriage is only ten months old, but their baby (unseen) is barely one month new… Implications hang in the air like accusations.

In a later scene, the two men of the cast, (Anthony Nikolchev and Chris Polick) dance together in a way that suggests forbidden intimacy and sexual tension.

Dreamy, atmospheric, well performed and visually beautiful, this is a spellbinding show where the pairing of elusive and evocative text with the dance movements renders the storyline riveting.

John Zalewski’s soundscape is masterful, emanating from various speakers hidden throughout the rooms and evoking so much nostalgia and atmosphere as well as providing the rhythmic underscoring to the dance and action.

Touted as an ‘immersive’ experience, the observing audience is more a collective spectator in close quarters than participators.

The Day Shall Declare It opened in London in 2014 and played in Los Angeles last year to some acclaim. It’s now back in L.A. for this encore performance. 

From the use of extreme strobe lighting (at one point) to the unexpected use of sand (pictured above), this beautifully crafted production is a unique and wonderful theatrical experience that is not to be missed.

photo by Jay L. Clendenin.
photo by Jay L. Clendenin.

The Day Shall Declare It, created by Wilderness 

Staged in a disused 1925 brick shopfront warehouse at:

2051 East 7th Street,

Los Angeles, CA 90021

• Managed by Julio Hechavarria of Imperial Art Studios.


Six nights per week, Tuesday through Sunday.

Runs until Sunday, June 19, 2016.

• Doors open at 8:00pm (pre-show drinks available)

• Performances begin at 8:30pm

The approximately 80-minute performances are largely standing room only. Comfortable shoes are recommended. A coat and bag check is available and recommended.

Bar hours:

“The Paradise” pop-up bar with live music curated by Vagrant Bartenders.

• 8:00pm – open to attendees

• 9:45pm – open to the public


Available for purchase online here.

• The Upstart: $25.00

            – Very limited allocation for each performance released on day of show at 12:00pm. Try your luck.

• The Standard: $50.00

            – Straight down the line, boss.

• The Tennessee: $75.00

            – A bespoke and exclusive experience for a few adventurous spirits. Give us your hand.




Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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