Performance Studies International Conference
March 31 to April 3, 2005

PSI Conference #11
Becoming Uncomfortable
March 30-April 3, 2005
Brown University
Providence, RI
Prices: $15.00 for performances
Various prices to attend conference
Information: psi@brown.edu


PSI's Becoming Uncomfortable
A conference toward performance/studies - modes of thinking, physical methodologies, spatial thoughts, sound disturbances, and knowing bodies. Art that seeks to discover the unknown, or to re-conceptualize what is known, is hard to explain, that's why it's art and not a written treatise. Come experience many ways of seeing, being, experiencing through cutting edge performance of all kinds.

Performance Studies international (PSi), is a professional association officially founded in 1997 to promote communication and exchange among scholars and practitioners working in the field of performance. The theme of the conference 'Becoming Uncomfortable' is an open invitation to performance studies artists and scholars to engage with those issues that most challenge our sense of boundaries, our categorical constructions, and our strategies for order. Scholars and artists identified with the discourses of visual arts, media and cultural studies, theatre, dance, public rhetoric, ethnography, musicology, and philosophy will convene with a chance to find common ground, however rocky and uneven.

The conference features over 200 events : a full range of panels, roundtables, installations, performances, and workshops involving many of the most exciting artists and scholars working nationally and worldwide. A festival of evening performances, featuring, among others, such well known American groups and performers as Split Britches, Mabou Mines, Drastic Action, Pig Iron Theatre, Double Edge Theatre, Kate Bornstein, Fred Curchack, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and guest performers from Vienna to Beijing and from Mali to Bali will complement the conference. Tickets to these festival events will be available to the public for $15.00 apiece or to conferees for $5 each.

For a full listing of events and to register on-line now, while special deals on accommodations are still available, please go the conference website: www.brown.edu/psi.


Tickets available at the door and through ArtTixRI.com
Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger

Thursday 3/31 and Friday 4/1, 7:30 p.m.
McCormack Family Theatre
70 Brown St
Brown University
One of the funniest, most challenging, most provocative, and most important performance artists in America presents the premiere of a new autobiographical piece dealing with daddies, daughters, cults, confusions, and renewal. A post-operative trans-sexual and gender outlaw, Kate considers hirself to be neither a man nor a woman: her books and plays include The Opposite Sex Is Neither; Hidden: A Gender; and On Men, Women and the Rest of Us.

Chris Elam/Yin Mei/New Works: Exceptional Incorporealities

Thursday 3/31 and Friday 4/1, 7:30 p.m.
Stuart Theatre
Faunce House
Brown University
An evening of new dance works developed by choreographers from China, Burkina Faso, Paris, Mali, West Africa, the Caribbean, and the US. Choreographers include Yin Mei (China/NY) Chris Elam (NY), and the New Works collective led by Michelle Bach-Coulibaly (US) and featuring Lacina Coulibaly (Burkina Faso) and Jude Sandy (Trinidad). The movement vocabularies used are infused with hot stepping, hip-hop, Jamaican Dance Hall, West African ceremonial dances, Balinese dance traditions, Contact work, and American concert and vernacular forms.

Venus Opal Reese - Split Ends
Marc Bamuthi Joseph: The Spoken Word (double bill)

Thursday 3/31 and Friday 4/1, 7:30 p.m.
Providence Black Repertory Theatre
276 Westminster St.
New work by two of the most exciting African-American performers active today. Split Ends boldly, humorously, and fearlessly explores how our hair has been and continues to be both our burden and our liberation; our barrier and our connection; our cross and our salvation. Actor, musician, and national poetry slam champion Marc Bamuthi Joseph has been termed "electrifying" (Houston Chronicle), "eloquent...seamless...and remarkable" (New York Times), and "the cutting edge performer of the year" (SeattleTimes).

Steve Dixon, Mathias Fuchs, Paul Sermon, and Andrea Zapp of The Chameleons Group
Unheimlichn (Interactive Multi-Media Installation)

Thursday 3/31, 8:00 p.m.
Modern Culture and Media Building
Forbes Center
135 Thayer St
Brown University
Unheimlich (uncanny) is an extraordinary interactive performance installation resulting from collaboration among four leading European digital arts and performance practitioners of the award-winning multimedia theatre company, The Chameleons. It's 1 a.m. in Manchester, England, but two enigmatic sisters have stayed up late to see you, and to (telematically) greet you with a kiss as you step into their space, in real time, thousands of miles away.

Schauspielhaus, Vienna
Samovar: A Piece of Life, conceived and directed by Airan Berg and Marcel Ketter

Thursday 3/31 and Saturday 4/2, 8:00 p.m.
John Nicholas Brown Center
357 Benefit St
Brown University
Performed in an intimate and elegant room of an old Providence mansion, Samovar: is an homage to Anton Chekhov that features live comic Marcel Keller, live video by Airan Berg, and a live Russian: Anja Sebanz. Using comic-drawings, live-video, and found objects, members of one of Europe's most adventurous theatre companies explore the world of characters thrown into the world by master playwright Anton Chekhov: daydreamers, idealists, illusionists, and lost souls.

Double Edge Theatre: the UnPOSSESSED (based on Cervantes' Don Quixote)

Thursday 3/31 8:00 p.m.
Bass Auditorium
Rites and Reason Theatre
Angel St.
Brown University
Likening it to the films of Fellini, the New York Times call The UnPOSSESED, "fervid, otherworldly, poetic, bathetic, punning and perverse."For 23 years, Double Edge Theatre has been fusing intense physical theatricality, popular and circus arts, shadow puppets, stilts, and commedia dell'arte, with live original music in intimate settings. In response to the events of 9/11, the international company of Double Edge has created a world both visceral and hallucinatory in this daring new etude version, directed by founder and artistic director Stacy Klein.

Fred Curchack: Gauguin's Shadow

Thursday 3/31, 9:30 p.m.
Trinity Repertory Theatre
Downcity, Providence
Fred Curchack celebrates and confronts the myth of the artist Gauguin, using spellbinding theatrical imagination, masks, puppets, Gauguin's own words, and video projections of his art. "In this astonishing, deeply stirring solo performance, Curchack embraces, becomes, repudiates, and sanctifies the towering, deplorable Gauguin in a ritual of contradiction and reconciliation that also serves as an orgiastic immersion in the painter's images" (Dallas Morning News). "Best Play of 2004" (Dallas/Fort Worth Theatre Critics).

Maria Porter: Ennobling Nonna: An Original Movement Theater Work

Neo-Spinsters: Dora E McQuaid, Pat Payne, reina a. prado, and Evie Shockley
Second Wind (double bill)
Friday 4/1, 8:00 p.m.
Ashamu Studio
Lyman Hall
Brown University
Inspired by the work of Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki and directed by Thomas DeFrantz, Ennobling Nonna tells its story through physical movements, spoken texts, recorded music, projections and everyday objects. It is the story of a woman's search for cultural identity through an intensely physical performance. Second Wind is a performative poetry ensemble that uses striking video and soundscapes and whose work bridges diverse ethnic and cultural communities to collectively addresses themes that range from sexuality and spirituality, the politics of bodily desire, consequences of sexual violence, and intersections of race and sexuality.

The Civilians: Gone Missing

Friday 4/1 and Saturday 4/2, 8:00 p.m.
Bass Auditorium
Rites and Reason
Churchill House
Brown University
Called one of the "dozen young American companies you need to know" by American Theatre magazine, The Civilians is an ensemble creating new theatrical works based on actual events. "Gone Missing is imaginative, ingenious, and staged with great panache, and beyond its humor and heartache lies a profound human truth: perhaps we only truly value those things we have lost."

Mabou Mines - Lee Breuer, Ruth Maleczech, Fred Neumann
Summa Dramatica from La Divina Caricatura

Friday 4/1, 8:00 p.m and 9:30 p.m. (2 separate shows)
Starr Auditorium
MacMillan Hall
Brown University
When it comes to theatre that pushes the boundaries of performance, the Mabou Mines ensemble has an unparalleled record of achievement over the past several decades. Combining passion with parody, this culminating section of Lee Breuer's epic Divina Caricatura has been prepared specifically for the conference and will be performed in the spirit of the ensemble's companion piece, Ecco Porco. "a comic spectacle...and acid-trip collage of philosophy, mythology, corny jokes, and lyric poetry." (New York Times).

Dance Theatre of Bali - I Wayan Dibia, I Nyoman Catra, Desak Made Suarti Laksmi, and Ni Made Pujawati and friends, with the Gamelan Gita Sari of Holy Cross College
The Death of Dalem Dungkut

Saturday 4/2,7:30 p.m.
McCormack Family Theatre
70 Brown St
Brown University
Some of the most acclaimed performers of Bali, Indonesia, supported by a full gamelan orchestra, demonstrate the brilliance of Balinese dance and theatre. The show culminates in a Topeng Prembon - distinguished by its striking masks, colorful costumes, improvised comic dialogue, plaintive singing, and elaborate interplay between movement and music. In stories drawn from semi-historical chronicles, ancestral heroes and clownish servants follow each other in rapid succession, forging links to current events: an attempt to overthrow a foreign tyrant meets with unexpected problems and a surprising solution. Performed in Balinese and English.

Drastic Action, directed and choreographed by Aviva Geismer
All Fall Down and Rocker
Waving Hello

Saturday 4/2, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 4/3, 2:00 p.m. (double bill)
Stuart Theatre
Faunce House
Brown University
Aviva Geismer was recently named one of "25 to watch" by Dance Magazine for her unique explorations of the comic and grotesque. Against soundscapes that range from bossa nova to the baroque, her dances create a world that is part Hieronymus Bosch, part Dr. Seuss. Ex.Pgirl is an dance collective of artists from the US, France, Japan, and Argentina that draw from the techniques of European clowning, satire, vaudeville, rock concerts, and performance art to create images of America though ex-patriate eyes.

Split Britches (Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver) with Holly Hughes
Dress Suits...Still for Hire

Saturday 4/2, 8:00 p.m.
Trinity Repertory Theatre
Washington Street
Downcity, Providence
First performed in 1987 at NY's PS 122, Dress Suits for Hire blended erotic fantasy with pulp fiction to create an instant classic: "a "mellifluous ode to lesbian eros and a joyful, literate send-up of all romantic fantasy" (The Village Voice). Now being revived at La Mama ETC, the original cast will perform and read excerpts from the work and discuss the then and now of making and remaking Dress Suits for Hire

Bonus Performance: Free (no ticket required)
Adam Gertsacov and the ACME Miniature Circus

Saturday 4/2 9:00 PM
Trinity Repertory Theatre Lobby
Downcity Providence
Professor Providence's A.G. Gertsacov and his ACME Miniature Circus of trained fleas have performed before (and on!) the crowned heads of Europe, providing "entomological entertainment that dazzles, disgusts, and confuses his audience... Too ludicrous and perversely fascinating to miss!" (Boston Phoenix). "Professor Gertsacov holds the audience (and his performers) in the palm of his hand... Audience reaction builds from bewilderment to fascination and glee." (Los Angeles Times). WATCH! As Midge and Madge pull a tiny chariot! GASP! As they frolic on the tightrope! WINCE! As the Professor cracks an endless stream of corny jokes! "Top Pick," Spoleto USA Festival.

Fred Curchack and Laura Jorgensen
Golden Buddha Beach
East Coast premiere of a new play

Saturday 4/2, 10:00 p.m.
Trinity Repertory Theatre, Downcity, Providence
Laura and Fred go on a dream vacation/yoga retreat in Thailand. Hoping to get away from it all, instead they find themselves on a surreal journey through calm seas and tsunamis, where they encounter tourists and terrorists, Buddhist monks and soldiers, gods, demons, and nobodies, each other and themselves. Combining dazzling visuals, live action, video, shadow magic, and outrageous stories and songs, Laura and Fred invite you on a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical adventure on Golden Buddha Beach. This show has just opened in Dallas to rave reviews.

Lostwax directed by Jamie Jewett

Sunday 4/3, 3:00 p.m.
Ashamu Studio, Lyman Hall, Brown University
Jamie Jewett's Rest/Less, with text by Thalia Field, uses interactive technology to create a dance-world composed of life's fleeting fragments, shards of stories that literally make the maps we travel by. Set on a grid of music, and poetry, five dancers discover and embrace this windswept landscape, their movements illuminating intimate stories, their small phrases adding up to a journey.

Deborah Nash at dn@riDance.com
Wild Women Web Builders
Built 28Mar05