M's ORPHANAGE

An undergraduate thesis for Tanztheater direction, choreography, and performance.

M's Orphanage is a script by Kate Tarker based on Heinrich Hoffman's classic rhymes, Der Struwwelpeter. These stories figured prominently in my youth, both as cautionary tales and lonely mementos of the cultural heritage that my grandfather abandoned in the chill of World War II.

The performance was site-specific, drawing heavily from environmental-style theater, and encouraged multi-sensory involvement of the audience, including taste.

Themes explored in the choreography and direction revolved around unstable mobius-like relationships between dualities unified. Child-adult. Innocence-sex. Power-patheticism. Maternity-torture. Attraction-repulsion. Visceral-intellectual. Holiday-eternity.

The full length theatrical performance was accompanied by a research document titled It is a Truthful Soup, exploring the evolution and migration of Tanztheater (as defined by Pina Bausch) to America, acknowledging the "experimental" aesthetic revolutions in theater and dance that contributed.



Performed at Reed College. Research funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Click an image to enlarge.