Choose Your Own Adventure with ‘This is Not a Novel’

Choose Your Own Adventure with ‘This is Not a Novel’

Spend an evening exploring this 'delirious playscape for adults'


If you grew up reading the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series, Little Green Pig‘s interpretation of “This is Not a Novel” by David Markson will feel like revisiting your childhood – with a slightly darker twist. Director Jaybird O’Berski, whose past immersive works include “Misterioso” with Duke University, encourages visitors to “wander around, sit still or do a little of both” as a dozen stories unfold around you at The Scrap Exchange ReUse Arts Center at Lakewood Shopping Center.

A curated soundscape based on the author’s original text (visitors can download and listen on their phone) provides a tempo for the evening, but aside from that, guests are free to choose how they experience the show. Equal parts theater, dance show and art installation, “Novel” offers a dreamlike series of rooms and segments in which actors and artists perform, either alone or in groups.

Art installations occupy several of the rooms.

“For me, I wanted to make something in front of people, something that doesn’t last,” says Haymaker founder Akiva Fox of his part in the performance, which involves chiseling away carefully at an ice sculpture as it slowly melts onto the floor.

Actors in the flophouse.

One particularly notable section of the show is the flophouse. “We built a full apartment inside the building,” says Dana Marks, managing director of Little Green Pig. “You could easily spend the entire night watching events unfold there, if you choose.” Or, she says, visitors can choose a specific actor’s story to follow throughout the evening as they move through and interact with the space.

Dana Marks performs in “This is Not a Novel.”

This one-of-a-kind experience spans 7,000 square feet and includes the work of more than three dozen artists and actors. Like the book upon which it is based, “Novel” does not adhere to traditional story arcs, instead encouraging viewers to step outside of what is comfortable and into a place of self reflection.

see the show

“This is Not a Novel”
Dates: March 2-4 and 9-11, 8pm
Tickets: $8-$12
Location: The Scrap Exchange ReUse Arts Center, Lakewood Shopping Center (2000 Chapel Hill Rd., Ste. 25 and Ste. 27)

Morgan Weston
Durham Magazine freelancer Morgan Weston is a North Carolina native who loves exploring the Triangle's diverse food, arts and craft beer offerings.