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ATHENews - Volume 27, Number 3 - Collaborative Performance Duo PearlDamour at Conference 2013
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Collaborative Performance Duo PearlDamour at Conference 2013

by Chase Bringardner, Vice President for Conference 2013

Greetings again everyone! This post is the second of many you will find in ATHENews in the coming months as we approach the conference in August. These brief articles will continue to spotlight specific conference events and provide a sneak peek of some of the exciting things we as a conference committee have planned for attendees.

It is with great excitement that I share with you all that PearlDamour, the collaborative performance duo of Katie Pearl (award-wining director and Roothbert fellow) and Lisa D’Amour (playwright, interdisciplinary artist, and 2011 Pulitzer finalist for Detroit), will join us for our conference in Orlando. They will offer a paid workshop on Thursday afternoon, and on Friday evening, they will share a new piece they are developing called Milton (a work in process) alongside a discussion of their previous collaborative work. The committee could not be more thrilled to have this innovative, exciting, playful, and performative team joining us in Orlando.

As they detail on their website (, “we are an Obie-Award winning collaborative team who create performance both inside and outside traditional theater spaces. We are known for large-scale performances that mix theater and installation — such as How to Build a Forest, an 8-hour performance in which we assemble and disassemble a simulated forest on an empty stage over 8 hours – and intimate performances designed for small audiences — such as Bird Eye Blue Print, created for a set of small vacant offices in the World Financial Center in Manhattan. Over our 15-year history of making work together, we have devised a body of work that is attentive to the performer / audience relationship, and searches for new approaches to narrative through the accumulation of text, image, physicality and architectural elements. We want our audiences to feel like they are inside of an experience, rather than watching something happen ‘over there.’ When we make a show, we create room for the audience to feel like they have slipped into the private headspace of a performer they are watching: an intimate, associative, surprising place.”

Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour will offer their workshop, “Getting Out of the Way: A Performance Workshop” on Thursday afternoon from 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. In this workshop, PearlDamour will lead participants through a series of exercises in which architecture and objects take the lead. Participants will also have the chance to consider their own core artistic values, and experiment with how to let these values fuel a new work. The workshop is limited to 16 participants for a fee of $50 per person. You can sign up when you register!

On Friday evening at 10 p.m., Pearl and D’Amour will present Milton (a work in process) alongside a discussion of their past collaborative works. Milton is a monologue stitched together from dozens of interviews conducted in five different cities named Milton across the U.S., performed against the backdrop of video footage of the sky over each Milton. What do you dream of when you look at the sky? What is someone across the United States from you dreaming right now? This work-in-progress excerpt features a monologue devised from visits to three Miltons, performed by our very own conference participants! Details will follow shortly on how to express interest in being a part of the show. This performance is free, and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Make sure to reserve some space in your conference schedule (and sign up) for this workshop and this incredible performance opportunity. Don’t miss out! Check back next month to read about some other incredible workshop opportunities.

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