imagery | program | gallery |
if you participated in the performance and would like to have your comments posted
please e-mail doug at

On December 3rd, I was curious as to what the Coincidence presentation would be all about. In fact, I was so curious, that I was the first one in the door at 7:19, or whenever it started. The piece at the beginning with the people "fighting" and splattered with red paint I felt really set the tone for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately, there were a few rather immature students in attendance, perhaps for extra credit, that may have taken away from the overall luster of the experience. The program was nonetheless enjoyable - I thought the dancing in the multi-purpose room was superb. The girls who did the dance about losing their sons to the war showed a lot of skill, in my opinion. I have to admit, I was a little confused about the movie at the presentation. I was under the impression that everyone was to watch the movie together, and the disperse to look at the work. However, I think things worked out well the way they were. Overall, I thought Coincidence to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. My appreciation is extended to everyone who had a part in the production. I hope to see some similar displays at school this year. - Kristen Axelson - audience - CHS student
In the beginning I was naive to the fact that people would actually feel uncomfortable in our environment. Personally, I was inspired by the space and in no way intimidated by it, but some of the people who came through had a very alienated, fearful reaction to what we were presenting. Part of that may have been their inability to process all the information they were confronted with, but I think it also had something to do with a contradiction of their preconceived notions about music, art, and logical thinking. Overall I think we left a lasting impression on our audience, who came in droves, ready or not - Tim Ivison - visual artist and writer
I was disappointed because it was what I expected it to be. It was so abstract that I didn't connect at all. I guess I'm more interested in people's feelings than their reactions. - Jeneane Smith, audience - WriteDesign student
"coincidence" as an experiential moment was both perfect and pure...undoubtedly liberating. - davin heaphy, audience - history teacher extraordinaire
I didn't see the play, but from what I have read and heard it was a very moving experience. None of the comments were neutral, they all had something interesting to say. It also seems like the people that were in the play were really effected by it. I hope I can attend the next performance, and I hope that it has as much impact and depth as it did in "coincidence." - Megan Brydges (not peachead)
Finally, Bob Fossy has nothing to do with acting, visual art, dance, or music.

Some people say the dance portion of the show was "uncomfortable" to watch, but as Betzi Roe, the choreographer said, "Art needs to be uncomfortable sometimes." With this quote I think she hit the nail on the head! - JoAnna Paterson, dancer

Thanks for the effort in getting the comments together. I find them as provocative as the show itself. - Brian Köhn, peachead
Your peach-head production was different, I mean really different, I mean weird, I mean strange, I mean bizzare, I mean the dark side never looked so dark, I mean you guys really went over the edge, I mean you guys have redefined the edge, I mean .....I'm really proud you and Brian are here for our kids and I respect the hell out of both of you. You guys are the best! Thanks - Jeff Davis, Principal, Coronado High School
Can a principal write "hell"? This one can and did. The reason why, he stands by his word. His word is
"the school must fit the student, not the student fit the school." - Doug, peachead (no one has ever been fired for "sucking up" too much! And when you are redefining the edge, you better "suck up" a lot.)
I too, want to have 15 seconds of fame!

I was very pleased at the great work that was presented at the show. I liked the different view that it gave. Most shows or art that is done about the subject normally gives the "power" point of view. But this presentation was based upon the victims and how they were taken from their homes yet nobody seemed to care. The majority were happy that it wasn't them, but there were great artists, some who are in my class, that could not let the situation rest without their voice being heard.

As Sacha said in our class discussion, it's somewhat of an honor to go to school with such talented people. And personally I'm so glad I'm able to be in WriteDesign to have my voice expressed in a way that all people won't understand, but it's okay. Because in WriteDesign we can do that. - Melissa Escobedo, audience - WriteDesign student

My involvement with "coincidence" was an experience I won't soon forget. When the idea was first introduced to me, I couldn't help but be inspired and hopeful of such an unusual subject and art mix. While limits of time an resources soon stunted some of my more extravagant ideas, the point seemed well expressed through traditional paintings of untraditional subjects. Soon concepts became concrete, but still no one had any idea of the outcome. Towards the end of our preparation time, we were not without personality clashes and punctured morale, but the elements came together in a most unexpected an profound way. My relationship with all the coconspirators grew, as well as knowledge of my own character and capabilities. - Erica Wolfsen, writer and visual artist
This show was a tremendous learning experience for me. Everything about the show has taught me something. I learned about Expressionism, the creative process, history, art, the relationship between art and history, the importance of deadlines, and the affect that art has on people. I probably learned as much in the one week of the show as I would have in three months of classes. - Nathan Luedtke, writer and narrator
Coincidence has grown its own head, and thus I feel comfortable discussing it.

If "performance" be not an end in itself, I would hope it to catalyze, to induce some new receptive mode in its benefactors. Only by putting all our cards on the table and integrating the credibility of the audience into the fabric of creation have we had the privilege of realizing - call it Truth, Art, or what have you - such a bottom line. Too often our "artistic intentions" bite themselves in the pedantic ass and sway from their fairest axle; we prove that from a unified approach, the most marvelous techniques and most exclusive angles in contemporary art CAN affect and make more whole the "ignorant" audience.- Chris Williams, musician

Looking back at going to "coincidence" I wish I was a little more focused. I had just come back from a game and was very tired. My whole attention was not on the show. I am very glad I went. The only thing I didn't like, it was very crowded. I was "stuck" in the lower section of the library when the music started. It would have had more of an impact if I could see who or what was making the sounds. Because I was in the lower section I was last out and I missed the two outside dances entirely.

I really loved the way the library was transformed. I think the atmosphere was over half of the show. Overall, I really liked the show. I thought it served its purpose and it exposed certain feelings to the audience that are often neglected or pushed aside. - Meghan McGuire, audience - WriteDesign student

In life, some are included, some are excluded...never take for granted that you will always be included, or always be excluded. - Doug, peachead
I thought it was amazing. Not a good amazing, a terrifying amazing.
It scared the hell out of me. But it's kinda cool how the time period was so dark. And I love how everyone expressed themselves, maybe that's where we got it from. I really liked it. The dancers were so great. They were dancers and actors that day. I really felt what they had to say, and they didn't have to speak one word. - Bobbi-Lyn Donohue, audience - WriteDesign student
Well I thought the show you guys put on (coincidence) was very good. Saying it was GOOD does not do it justice. I must really say that seeing the talent that some of my fellow students have makes me respect a lot of them so much more. I liked the different interpretations many different groups within the same theme had of a common focal point.
The view points from artist to artist is what really tripped me out about it the most. I especially enjoyed the dance and musical pieces of the exhibit, or show , whatever you called it. - Michelle Castro, audience - WriteDesign student
that music really scared me - it made my skin crawl... I know composers spent hour upon hours writing that stuff - but to me it sounded like a cat walking across a piano - Kristina Simmons, audience - WriteDesign student
Consider your envelope, when was the last time it was pushed?

An audience should only, people for that matter, be placed in situations where behavior is scripted by tradition.

Respect your audience. What is left if appropriate behavior is removed?

What is spoken must be carefully considered...
What we write must be carefully considered...
How we pray...
How we vote...
Where we live...
What we eat...
Who we know...
What we drive...
What we wear...
What we ask...
What we do ... need ... money, respect, approval ... security.

Lay it out for us.

When was the last time you spoke the truth?
When was the last time I spoke the truth?

Lay it out for us!

Don't touch it, don't smell it, don't lick it, don't shine a light on it, don't make it hurt, don't make it feel anything.

We are the subject matter.- Brian Köhn, peachead

hi, this is doug. upon reflection, i feel obligated to make some comments - if you know me, then you know that I seldom make short comments - about the development process, the performance, and the aftermath of "coincidence."

the process started when dr. jeffrey davis, principal of coronado high school (chs), invited the faculty and staff to the museum of tolerance in los angeles, for a two-day workshop. the intent was to start the school year off with a team-building exercise. little did he know that his exercise in team building would lead to the creation of "coincidence."

brian köhn, director of the cosa instrumental music department, and i shared the two-day experience and on the ride home we talked about what we had seen and how we could express our feelings in a creative collaboration. as we talked, several themes developed, but most importantly, the collaborative process was at the center. in my professional career, due to the nature of my expertise, graphic design and technology, i have collaborated with many fine individuals, many of whom are on the faculty and staff of chs. this was destined to be the beginning of yet another phenomenal creative collaboration.

the actual process entailed both brian and i generating ideas, presenting them at informal meetings, usually in the lunch area of the eighth vortex*, and then discussing where we should go from there. this remained the mode of operation throughout the process and ultimately included betzi roe, the director of the cosa dance department, and interested students.

for me, the key to any good collaboration is the willingness to do the work, take risks, suspend your ego, share the results with others, make adjustments and refinements, and then continue the process until the deadline.

this is exactly what happened. i must admit, on tuesday, two days before the performance i was not very confident that what we would present was going to be very good. i knew the experience for the students was valuable, but…beyond that, i could not be certain. amazingly, as each of us came up with different ideas and made adjustments and refinements, the notion that this could actually work was beginning to emerge.

much to the consternation of many, the flyer we created did not have the time and venue posted. the purpose - reflect that this was not going to be a traditional performance in any form. so, to try to get people to attend and in preparation of the performance, i created a small theatre of the mind experience in each of my classes. i warned them before hand that it was going to be uncomfortable and was only to set the tone of how artists use powerful communication to express ideas, information, and feelings.

the afternoon of the performance we gave a preview to participants attending the new american high school conference held on campus. chs is one of seven schools in the nation selected for the honor of being a new american high school. much to our surprise, the show went well. we also noticed that the audience was very uncomfortable about the subject matter, its presentation, and their involvement in the performance. our goal was to create art with a message that used an interactive environment to invade the psyche. we appeared to have succeeded.

at show time, 1919 hours (7:19 pm) in honor of the debut date of the cabinet of dr caligari, we were overwhelmed by the attendance. i counted around 130 people, about 75 people more than we anticipated. as a result of the attendance, a number of issues arose. one being the size of the venue. quite simply there was very little room, adding to the tension of the experience. at one point when the dancers were performing the audience crowded the space and many were not allowed to view. some people got on trucks to see, but many were excluded. coincidentally, the reverse occurred for the second dance. those excluded from the first dance were able to see and those who were able to see the first dance were excluded from the second. for the most part, there were very few glitches and those that occurred easily fit into the feeling of discordance.

the aftermath of the performance was, again, more than we anticipated. we conducted a debriefing in my classes yielding many powerful comments and "coincidences" about the content, the environment, and the total experience.

the intent of my comments is to prompt people who participated in the performance to share how they felt and what they took away from the experience.

so, with that said, e-mail me with your comments and I will see that they are posted.- doug kipperman, peachead

*eighth vortex refers to the area that contains oxford academics, writedesign, and the resource specialist program. An area where teachers and students work together to learn, share, and grow - "choas makes learning possible." - gabrielle rico

imagery | program | gallery |
if you participated in the performance and would like to have your comments posted
please e-mail doug at