Make Thee An Ark - October 2021

take a cool walk in the nighttime, but stay completely silent. step around flooded paths and sinking ruins on the way to the midnight service. in the underbelly of the ship, we pray for protection against the hurricanes. we listen to the stories of how we got here, and who will be paying for it. what will happen if the dove comes back branchless?

Make Thee an Ark examines Historic Spanish Point, a vulnerable site in Osprey, Florida with 5,000 years worth of history quickly sinking into Sarasota Bay. Taking place in a small, late 19th century chapel on the estate, I ask the questions: How can we be the prophetic ancestors of future generations? 300 years from now in a New Ark floating above an undersea Florida, what will they remember? As the characters in the play tell stories of the past (selected from archives at the historic site), I make the argument for the return to performance as a method of heritage preservation: when the ocean has risen enough that it destroys our past, we can focus more on storytelling and oral history to create new intangible heritage materials (or, memories), and the audience will remember and maintain the stories in their own memory archives.

This project is made possible by the John Ringling Towers Grant for the Performing Arts and the Florida Humanities Council with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Polyp’s Bones - TBD

Polyp’s Bones is a multi-media solo movement performance exploring the hollowing effects of patriarchal violence on climate change and the human body: this work studies the profoundly similar effects of trauma at the chemical and molecular levels, found in both deteriorating coral ecosystems and my/the body in trauma. Hard coral reefs, responsible for supporting thousands of ocean species and protecting our coastlines, are dying at an unprecedented rate from ocean acidification, the result of which is an overall weakening and stunted growth of the reefs’ foundational skeletons. After developing — and recovering from — an eating disorder as a response to intimate partner violence, I am at high risk for early onset osteoporosis, wherein my bones have an increased chance of growing more brittle and hollow within the next two decades. As ocean acidification is considered the “osteoporosis of the sea,” (Andrew Volmert, PhD), Polyp’s Bones builds a choreographically chemical relationship between my (and many others’) experiences of patriarchal violence with the breakdown of coral skeletons from ocean acidification, yet another form of violence perpetrated by patriarchal systems of greed and exploitation. Devised through movement, text, and organic chemistry, the piece is a reframing and re-presentation of trauma through a lens of kinship with the natural world — a kinship brought on by the immediacy of demise under a violent patriarchal ontology.