Performance as Radicalism in Practice, Second Edition (MPF2254.01, section 1)

Kriss Mincey

The following class points to a reading-heavy, writing-heavy, and movement-inclined curriculum. Be advised.

The purpose of Performance as Radicalism in Practice is to re-home ourselves in the performance process, and to reframe it as the expression of belonging rather than the prerequisite for it. We’ll explore what performance can be for, starting at the site of hyper-local change: in the body of the performer.

Through close reading, writing assignments, discussions, models and exercises, this class aims to think beyond the entertainment-political action binary, because what’s secular and soulful, or relevant and timeless are seldom separate things. So to be clear, we are not dealing with the question of how we can use performance to affect political change. Instead, this class is asking, and facilitating students to generate their personal answers to the questions, “How can I use my performance process to repair my root system? How can I integrate practices of repair in my performance process? What does it mean for me to re-indigenize myself as a being, a human, an artist-intellectual-revolutionary, and a citizen of the multiverse?

As I write this class, I gather that it’s largely a theoretical one. We do theory work because we aren’t here to learn what we already know. Kyla Wyzana Thomkins reminds us that “theory is both descriptive of the world we live in and speculative as well, in that it seeks new worlds and new language to understand what seems to be ‘natural’ and ‘normal.'” So, no: this is not a performance technique class; this is where we ask what the performance process is made of, what it’s for, and interrogate the things that obstruct its truest expressions and functions: ingested symptoms of oppressive systems, generational traumas under said systems, and the messages encoded on our bodies that give our work meanings we can’t control–all so we can speculate and then generate ways of being and belonging differently.

Enrolling in this class entails opting in to video and audio recording during our sessions to support the research on performance process, of which this class is an extension. I’ll record warm-ups via video, and discussions via voice-memo. In alignment with a culture of consent, please feel encouraged to opt out and ask to stop recording at any point in class. These recordings will be available to you for a limited time for reference at the end of the term; terms and conditions for use will apply.

Learning Outcomes:
Particularly, students will learn
- how to ask better questions
- how to analyze a written text
- how to read your body as text
- how to identify your performance process
- how to design your performance process to repair your root system

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every Term

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Performance , Updates
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