While I create visual theatre, I have entered a phase of my work, where writing has become a strong spine upon which I build performances and installations. I write all of my performance texts. They often focus on offbeat characters whose private manias would otherwise become public fodder for tabloids and reality television. In my pieces, I attempt to make these fringe figures real and relatable, no matter how far out their stories may sound. My performances tend to investigate contemporary forms of animism, death, sexuality, and addiction. Currently, I am working on Model Killer: Giant Crimes and Tiny Cover-Ups and editing Object of Her Affection in advance of its premiere.
Full-Length Performance Texts
Model Killer: Giant Crimes & Tiny Cover-Ups is a morbid comedy centered on a disgruntled dollhouse maker turned investigator. Vivian Nutt builds dioramas of unsolved murders, only for it to be revealed that she is in fact, a serial killer. How is our perception of gender colored through the lens of aggression? Can injecting the idealized settings of dollhouses with the macabre, expose the fraud of domestic tranquility? Are Vivian’s attempts to construct a world that fits her model of justice by eliminating problematic people out-of-scale with their transgressions? These are a few of the questions I am taking a stab at as I invite the viewer to reconsider female serial killers, the historically feminine craft of miniatures, and murder as entertainment.. Read More
In Object of Her Affection, a woman in search of romantic companionship develops intimate relationships with inanimate objects. This unconventional love story explores the universal development and loss of relationships. Object of Her Affection follows the emotional journey of protagonist, Andrea Lowe, after she has mysteriously fallen from a building. In her last moments, she reflects on her meaningful relationships starting with her first love, a baby’s blanket. As an adolescent, she loses her virginity to a bad-boy hunting rifle, and subsequently becomes infatuated with the Berlin Wall. As Andrea evolves, so do her desires. In adulthood, she forms doomed relationships with monumental structures: a high-profile statue, tragic twin skyscrapers, and a bridge who cheats. She finally finds solace in Roy, a crumbling tenement who ultimately fails her. See More
Have you ever gone too far for love? In Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical, an aging socialite grows fur and claws to recapture the attention of her philandering game hunter husband. Bride of Wildenstein is a weird and tragic love story that examines the making of a monstrosity through the personal struggle of a woman loses of her sense of self. As her marriage dissolves, she begins to reinvent herself through drastic measures – surgical procedures to become more feline, which only heighten her sense of estrangement. The heroine’s story is loosely inspired by tabloid accounts of the real-life “cat woman”, Jocelyn Wildenstein. Read sample
In Growing Up Linda, the daughter of a famous ice cream mogul must come to terms with her troubled past. See More
Short Performance Texts
The Feeder explores the unintended consequences of a complicated relationship when the surviving partner of a gainer and feeder couple is on the run after accidentally feeding his spouse to death. (Read More or See Video)
In A Letter to R, an eccentric artist at an open mic indirectly attempts to make amends by responding to a letter sent two decades earlier from a former lover.
The Internet slows down, as it often does at three A.M., when oddly, there just happens to be the least amount of traffic. But slowly line-by-line from top to bottom, in dial-up porn fashion, your mug shot reveals itself and rather dramatically, I might add. There you are. “alone, feared, and misunderstood”. Diminutive – not the larger-than-life way I remember you – eyes glassed over, gazing into the camera like a deer caught in the headlights Listen to More
In addition to performance texts, I have also been a guest blogger for HowlRound on my experience as a solo puppet artist, Feast of Fun with cultural commentary as a trend spotter, and on my own social media.
But back to that pesky question: Why puppetry? And why now in the midst of mass extinction and social injustice? Why is puppetry relevant when there are battles over wedding cakes and whether Black lives really matter to everyone? Can cardboard and papier-mâché really save this fucked up world? Read More
Nonetheless, McCarthy addresses cultural taboos – the grotesque and perverse as a reaction to the absurdity of our heroes. Humor and playfulness can be seen through his dystopic portrayal of inner lives of iconic cartoons and fairytale characters. Read More
Civil disobedience took a shiny new twist during the second half of 2011, with a sprinkling of glitter bombings that bedazzled a stunned nation in its wake of sparkles. Thanks to glitter pranksters, or “the Glitterati”, as they like to be called, the “glitter bomb” hit the mainstream media and glimmered its way into an all but lackluster cultural lexicon. Read More
What do Pajama Jeans say about the decline of American Imperialism, the weakening dollar, and the rise of China as both a super power and fashion center? When will the nightmare end? And what fashion atrocity will be next? Read More
With the end of the Mayan calendar, will 2012 be the end of trends? The uncooling of cool? Or a glittery new beginning? Join me as I look back on 2011 to extrapolate on what will be big in 2012. Read More
In puppetry, I-MAG, an abbreviation for “image magnification”, involves creating a live feed of all a performance captured with video camera and viewed simultaneously on a monitor or projection screen. In this paper, I will be exploring the use of I-MAG in contemporary puppet theatre – excavating its roots and looking at its evocative range such as uncanny doubling, changes in scale, cinematic effects, economy of space, and a reframing of the proscenium). Read More
Valley of the Uncanny Dolls:
An interview with Allison de Fren
on The Mechanical Bride
The Mechanical Bride is a feature-length documentary that explores the sf fantasy of creating the perfect woman and the current-day reality of artificial companions in the sex and robotics industries. Filmmaker Allison de Fren approaches her subjects with depth and sensitivity, exploring the roles of Doll/Owner, Real/Synthetic, and Living/Dead. I caught up with her in LA, where she teaches in the Media Arts & Culture Program at Occidental College. Read More
Susan Stryker is a historian, educator, activist, and artist from Oakland, CA. She presented her paper, “Transexuality: The Postmodern Body and/as Technology” at The School auditorium tying in the advent of the transexual surgery of Christine Jorgenson with the hydrogen bomb tests of Eniwetok. Read More
I published a series of 23 interviews with puppet slam artists and curators for the Puppet Slam Network. The Puppet Slam Network ran for a decade from 2005-2016. It’s focus was on cataloguing, connecting, supporting, and generating awareness for evenings of short-form puppetry for adults. Read them all here