Blood Bag is an homage to horseshoe crabs.
It’s a pageant about a genderqueer skeleton’s efforts to decolonize their marrow and learn to hear the moon. It’s an athletic, theatrical exploration of inter-species kinship, adaptation, and the threat of extinction. It’s a clown-eyed probe into modern human life and our current biomedical industry’s dependence on horseshoe crab blood. Blood Bag features the flag dancing of the Rufa Red Knots, a threatened shore bird that relies on horseshoe crab eggs to fuel one of the longest migrations of any bird on Earth. Puppets that shift scale and style, transformational costumes, and a soaring original musical score propel us through 450 million of years of lunar impulses and intricate relations. What can we learn about patience, fortitude, and interdependence from our primordial ancestors?
Reading at Brown University (2/2018)
Workshop at the Flea Theater in NYC (4/2018)
Developmental residency at Barn Arts Collective in Maine (6/2018)
Work-in-progress showing of clown research at Cloud City, NYC (2/2019)
I’ve also shared pieces of the project through lectures and exercises with RISD’s teen program and NUA’s Art Inquiry program, and at protests of the Liquified Natural Gas facility proposed for the Port of Providence. In June of 2019, I presented my horseshoe crab grappling at ‘Becoming Porous: Performing with(in) Climate Chaos’ my working group at The Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro in Mexico City.
I’m continuing to rework the script, apply for funding, and explore the music, clown, and community engagement elements of this project (including cardboard construction workshops toward the creation of herds of horseshoe crabs that join in the performance and post show blood drives.)
Collaborators (so far):
Anne Cecelia DeMelo, Directed the workshop at the Flea and our Barn Arts Residency
Raja Feather Kelly, Choreographed at the Flea and our Barn Arts Residency
Matthew Schreiber and Jackie Coleman, Composed original music a the Flea and our Barn Arts Residency
Other artists and partners I’m in conversation with about the project:
Emily Dix Thomas
The Coastal Institute
The Tomoquag Museum
The Southside Cultural Center