Eye Contact
Circumstantial Narratives

Eye Contact

More than a reflection of the inner monologue of strangers on a subway, Jonathan Mitchell’s piece Eye Contact, originally made in 2005 for Weekend America, explores the anxieties of coincidence and all the fears and awkwardness that can surround interactions in public spaces. Using improvising actors to represent multiple narrators, the piece is woven through with the anxiety of coincidences in common scenarios. It’s late and you’re on a sparsely decorated bus or train, the weary figures thinning out with each passing stop, all except for that one person, that guy in the corner who you caught staring at you earlier. Exhaling in relief as your stop approaches, you catch that same breath when you notice that that same person is getting off at your stop. And turning on your block... And as we’re hearing the worries of our various victims, we hear the thoughts of the innocent predators and the uncomfortable coincidences fueling these situations.