In my forthcoming book titled Who Is In the Room? Queer Strategies for Redefining the Role of the Theater Director there is an essay titled Nine encounters between me and you or Make Meaning with Me.
Originally, the book was intended to be the final “event” of a multi-year project that functioned as active research, the project I’m Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in Directing or nine encounters between me and you. This series of performances that I call “studies in directing” is a project that allowed me to collaborate, in real time in front of audiences with other artists who are also asking questions about liveness and intimacy in the theater. This project made it possible to interrogate in front of /or with a live audience the very issues that I address in this book.
With the project I’m Bleeding All Over the Place, I allowed myself to invite chaos and destabilization into a role that I normally occupy as the person in control, that of a director. The title of the project grew out of a confluence of events and desires, but, in part, the bleeding all over the place marks a desire toward the condition of spilling out: releasing or losing control, blurring into the position of another, allowing the inside of my work to be visible on the outside.
This study is the product of a series of active research-based collaborations with numerous artists: curator and scholar Johanna Burton, playwright and actor Heidi Schreck, playwright and actor Kristen Kosmas, playwright Erin Courtney, director and playwright John Jesurun, playwright, director and actor Jeff Weiss, artist Sadie Benning, artist Moyra Davies, performer and director Kate Valk, playwright Casey Llewellyn, performer and artist J.D. Stokely, and author Ross Gay.
The components of I’m Bleeding All Over the Place, include single-event performances as well as a production that had a longer theatrical run. The performances are subtitled:
Are We in Conflict? – New Museum 2014
Show Me – New Museum 2014
It’s Personal – New Museum 2014
A Living History Tour – La Mama ETC 2016
So? – Philadelphia Fringe 2017
In Terms of Performance – Bam Café 2018
Post No Bills – Common Field, Philadelphia 2019
Captive(ated) Audience – Yarn/Wire Gala Ten Ri Institute 2019
The first three studies in the project investigated the politics and violence inherent to the domestic sphere. The fourth part of the project A Living History Tour engaged the intimacy of the public realm. This was followed by two performances that allowed the audience have a voice, albeit en masse, in the room. The last event was a kind of playful release of the trauma of learning too much about my relationship to my audience. In total there have been eight “encounters.” This book is the ninth.