On Valentine’s Day 2010, in Times Square, Creative Time presented Ralf & Jeanette, a one-time-only, theatrical “action,” written and directed by the Spanish artists Bestué-Vives. Through a combination of live action on the street and text projected on a huge digital billboard overhead, the performance told the entire story of a romantic relationship—all in about ten minutes.
The action took place in the pedestrian area of Broadway, between 44th and 45th streets, at noon on February 14th. Two actors, who had never before met or rehearsed with one another, performed amidst the uninterrupted hustle-and-bustle of Times Square. In the play, Ralf and Jeanette (the actors’ real names) meet for the first time, fall in love, and part ways. Since their voices were unamplified, a digital billboard was used to “subtitle” the actors, like a silent movie brought to life.
Bestué-Vives’ action conveyed the array of emotions that occur throughout a relationship, but at lightning speed. It was an accelerated romance for an accelerated space—a brief encounter between two strangers in the heart of the city.