Last Dance–Workshop

Event time: 
Friday, September 8, 2023 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Miller Hall (PROS406) See map
406 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

The Feral Theatre co-directors Emily, Rachel and Persephone will facilitate a workshop following the same 3-part structure as the performance. We will invite participants to play with fabric bodies, filled with different materials: cotton wool, yarn, shredded paper to create and deconstruct a small personal object. We will engage in a participatory experiment, asking questions around the objects’ relationships with the self, the other and the more-than-human-world:

• What can these objects stand for?
• How can we explore our relationships through interacting with these diminishing forms, and what are the outcomes?
• Can these objects become bridges between worlds and realities?
• Can engagement in a creative ritual lead to action, and social and environmental flourishing?
• What is that process and how can we know?

Feral Theatre: a brief company biography
For the past two decades, UK-based Feral Theatre co-directors Emily Laurens, Rachel Porter and Persephone Pearl have been making work together that is resilient, flexible, emphasises accessibility and focuses on real life struggles. Our work is multidisciplinary, tends to include clown, dark clown and improvisation, is often site specific and sometimes closer to performance/live art. It is visual and experimental, including puppets, objects, paper, cloth, shadows, projections, live music and lighting.
We have a long, deep track record of making performance and ritual based work that:
● explores the role of ritual in the context of current ecological realities and links the creation of new rituals and stories with contemporary environmental action (often with a focus on holding space for grief, gratitude and a wide range of other ecological emotions)
● proposes that experimental contemporary ritual has a role in counterbalancing and queering an individualistic and consumption-focused dominant culture
● evolves, responds to and articulates emerging scientific knowledge and cultural shifts
● reflects on the meanings of and possibilities for the sacred amid secular and scientific understandings of the Anthropocene.

Feral Theatre’s performance work explores themes around biodiversity change and eco-emotions. We made the immersive Funeral for Lost Species in 2011 and founded Lost Species Day, a voluntary initiative that invites participants to host or attend memorials and events for extinct and critically endangered species, communities and places. Over the past decade, Feral Theatre has moved into a curatorial and facilitative role with Lost Species Day, steering the project away from its initial focus on endling stories towards a more intersectional, anti-racist and anti-colonial framing, amplifying diverse voices through its platforms. Lost Species Day has touched many thousands of people and influenced academics, institutions and social movements.

Following on from A Funeral For Lost Species, our play Triptych won Best New Play at Brighton Fringe 2012. We explored ambivalence and complexity using clown and physical humour in productions including Freaks of Nature and the Thylacine Tribute Cabaret, and used puppetry and video to animate and explore text by feminist historian of technoscience Michelle Murphy in Alterlife.

As well as co-directing Feral Theatre, Rachel, Persephone and Emily all work separately, often with some level of collaboration and communication between them in their individual projects.

Open to: 
General Public