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On Mother’s Day, 430 women over the age of 60 were performers in an hour-long tableau that was live broadcast by public television. 3000 people attended the performance staged on an 82 foot square rug with tables placed to resemble a quilt (designed by painter Miriam Shapiro) and listened to an accompanying soundtrack that mixed the voices of 75 women talking about aging (by composer Susan Stone). Speakers mixed personal observations and reminiscences with social analysis about the unutilized potential of the elderly.
While audience listened to the soundtrack, real time conversations
between the women echoed the same themes. Between ten minute intervals,
a loon cry or thunderclap rang out through the space, signaling
the women to change the position of their hands on the table, thus
changing the design of the quilt. At the end of the performance,
the audience brought hand-painted scarves as they flooded onto the
stage, disrupting the austere order of the quilt design to create
a crazy quilt of color, greeting the triumphant performers. This
performance was live-broadcast by KCET public television.