The Nervous Atmosphere

The Nervous Atmosphere is a new performance work written, composed and performed by Zoë Barry. A poetic, hypnotic reflection on her real-life experience of being struck by lightning three times, The Nervous Atmosphere explores the myriad strange symptoms and the chaos and confusion of slowly making sense bizarre experience. Through a combination of theatrical storytelling, solo cello and lighting, the work invites audiences into the immense emotional states that an overwhelming encounter with nature imbue.

The Nervous Atmosphere explores the connections between confusion, fear, consciousness and nature, beauty and vibration. It considers the void, death, near death experiences, and holds a space for audiences to feel the work on many levels. It explores the isolation of terrifying experiences, and ways to return to connection. The work is highly personal and idiosyncratic, taking audiences on an out-of-body experience.

Conceived in 2019 during residencies at the Lucid Art Foundation, Northern California, and Historical Damsite, New Mexico, the work was further developed to design concept in May 2022 through Arts House CultureLab.