text, body, and the witness in process and performance


1 – Text (Form) < > Body (Impulse)
How is text as form in a feedback loop with the body as impulse?

The recognizable form for Canadian plays and Canadian theatre process is based in a history of work that prioritizes text, linear time, and binary logic. The first part of this proposal explores an alternative, under-recognized model that might be a feminist/feminine form. This model prioritizes the body as a moving centre of knowledge—a source of information for that which is pattern, non-linear, and intuitive. It is an embodied practice based in ensemble work—a model I see emerging in the work of my peers as I myself am drawn to it.


2 – Performance (Process) < > Witness (Creator)
How is performance as process in a feedback loop with the witness as creator of meaning?

My work as a theatre-maker puts process on stage. I ask the performers to work in live time, pursuing the logic of the text or idea alongside the intuition of the body. This opens up room for complexity and impulse within performance, and asks the audience to witness more actively. The second part of this proposal explores an alternative model for performance that is:

based on feedback loops: the text is in conversation performer and vice-versa; the performer is in conversation with the witness and vice-versa;

anti-capitalist: moving away from commodification, process is the goal;

multiple: each artist and each witness is invited to interpret and assemble their own experience; and

group-based: this practice depends on the team of artists, the audience who comes to witness, and what can be found together.


Jill Connell
June 15, 2017