I remain invested in the physical intensity engendered in the communion of performer and spectator. Therefore, my work focuses on psychophysical methods of performance making and performance training; examining how the movement of the body communicates meaning phenomenologically and semiotically; and the connections between performance and neuroscience. I confront the traditional attempt to cleave scholarship and practice. When I direct a production, I engage in research and analysis no less intellectually rigorous than I would in writing an article or book, and I craft the production process as an interrogation of theoretical and practical suppositions. In the performing arts, we are uniquely positioned to recognize that critical thinking does not shut down creativity. Quite to the contrary, practical execution demands intelligent forethought, not to regulate and restrict but rather to pave the way for possibility.
When I write about my work, I do so in a performative manner, in the sense of my scholarship functioning as much as event as it does as object. This involves a muscularity and physicality in writing that, in the words of Peggy Phelan, “enact[s] the affective force of the performance event again” (Mourning Sex 11). Current writing projects include two book chapters: “Re-Composing History in Iphigenia and Other Daughters: Cixous’ Écriture Feminine as Écriture Corporelle,” in Physical Dramaturgy in the 21st Century, under contract at Routledge; and “The Role of Expressive Movement and Mirror Neurons in the Interaction Between Performer and Spectator,” in The Inside Story: Exploring Interactive Text and Performance, targeted to Cambridge Scholars Press.
Other projects include an essay inspired by my recent production of Mother Courage and Her Children: “Labor and the Body: Brecht, Stanislavski, and Viewpoints,” which I will present at the 2016 Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference. I also serve on the Editorial Board of METHODs, a new peer-reviewed journal on actor training published by Pace University Press; I am in the process of revising an article for publication: “Theories in Practice: Suzuki, Viewpoints, Composition, and Theatreing the Sacred.” Additionally, I serve as Secretary of the Association for Theatre Movement Educators, for whom I am leading an initiative to create a peer-reviewed, digital, practice-based research journal.
On-going creative projects include The Curse of the Wise, my adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, for five women, which grapples with violence done against female bodies, the performance of gender, and what is - and is not - 'natural.' I am developing the adaptation with my creative partner, composer Ryan McNeil, as a work of ‘music-theatre,’ a term we use to describe a work of theatre that uses music as a central component of storytelling but is not limited merely to characters expressing themselves through song. After a workshopping the adaptation in a full production at Western Illinois University, we plan to continue to develop the piece.
I maintain an on-going relationship with GreenHouse Theatre Project, an international theatre company crafting “innovative theatre in unexpected places”; in the summer of 2017, I will direct a site-specific, original adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. I also continue to work with MU Summer Repertory Theatre, a professional summer theatre housed at the University of Missouri. There, I continue to act, direct, dramaturg, develop new work, and teach acting; in 2016, I directed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, adapted by former Lookingglass Theatre Artistic Director Laura Eason, and performed in Greater Tuna.
I continue to enhance and refine my explorations with physical theatre by partaking in additional training opportunities. I plan to undergo SITI Company’s annual summer intensive in Suzuki and Viewpoints at Skidmore College, and to continue my training in the Michael Chekhov Technique with MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, with whom I have already completed a week-long intensive, studying with Joanna Merlin and Lenard Petit. I also plan to study mask work with Dody DiSanto of the Center for Movement Theatre, a company based in the trainings of Jacques Lecoq.