Hauntings: Marking Flesh, Time, Memory
Tessa Carr & Deanna Shoemaker

[runtime 39:26]

Description: This collaborative performance explores themes of decay, loss, desire, and transformative discovery through aging female-marked bodies. Weaving soundscapes from everyday life, acts of physical endurance, interactive performance, and photographs of ourselves embedded in beloved natural settings and disguised as archetypal personas, we invite audiences to consider how loss (of life, youth, culture, voice, visibility) calls us deeply into the fragile present while simultaneously pulling us, willingly or unwillingly, into haunted pasts and possible futures. Evocative and participatory, “Hauntings” marks flesh, time, and memory to meditate on the joys and terrors of inhabiting our ever-changing selves in a tumultuous world.

Keywords: Feminist Aesthetics; Performance art; Archetypes; Endurance; Aging

*The video below was shot by “MU Production Services” in October 2012 in Monmouth University’s Plangere TV studio. Producer/Editor: Erin Fleming.

History of the show: Hauntings was first developed at The Mountain Performing Artist Retreat in North Carolina in the summer of 2011. It was performed at the National Communication Association Conference in New Orleans, LA in November 2011. It was a featured performance at the Patti Pace Performance Festival at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in February 2012, at Monmouth University in New Jersey in October 2012, at California State University Northridge in February 2013, The Eastern Performance Festival at Villanova University in March 2015, and at The Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference in Montreal, Canada in August 2015.

*The script, introductory essay, photos, and responses by performance artist Tim Miller and performance studies scholar/artist Dr. Shauna MacDonald, are published in Text and Performance Quarterly (March 2017 online, hard copy forthcoming):

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10462937.2016.1239835 (at time of publication, 50 free e-prints are available)

Tessa Carr serves as Assistant Professor of Theatre and Artistic Director of Mosaic Theatre Company at Auburn University. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in communication studies with an emphasis in performance studies and theatre. Her research focuses on devised performance in practice and theory, autobiographical performance, feminist performance strategies, and performance as pedagogy. Deanna Shoemaker is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Master’s program in Communication at Monmouth University. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in performance and gender studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on feminist performance art, critical performance pedagogies, devised performance, and performance and/as social activism.

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