Image: Brooke O’Harra giving notes to Room for Cream performers at the club at La Mama E.T.C April 2008. Photo: Nina Hoffmann
Presented as part of “Brooke O’Harra: I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in Directing or Nine Encounters Between Me and You” (May 16–24).
“It’s personal.” is the third study in Brooke O’Harra’s ongoing project “I am Bleeding All Over the Place.” This study invites another director (John Jesurun) who has had a profound effect on O’Harra’s practice to work with the project texts (written by Kristen Kosmas, Erin Courtney, and Heidi Schreck) or comment on her direction of participating actors (who include Becca Blackwell, Will Davis, and Laryssa Husiak). The study assumes the form of a public encounter.
O’Harra’s “I am Bleeding All Over the Place…” is a protracted performance in the form of a series of studies on directing. The New Museum presents the first three of nine studies that comprise this two-year project. Each iteration takes a variety of forms: Some will be clearly scripted, scored, and rehearsed to perfection, while others will be developed or literally “written” in front of an audience. This examination of the director’s role through different encounters argues that bodies are never neutral. “I am Bleeding All Over the Place” proposes a kind of theater where each person operates as both reader and maker, and where the potency of a performance happens in the experiential, emotional, and phenomenological gaps produced by the encounter of bodies.
Brooke O’Harra is a freelance director. She is also Cofounder (with composer Brendan Connelly) of the Theater of a Two-headed Calf and has developed and directed all of their productions. Her most recent Two-headed Calf production, the opera project “You My Mother,” had two runs in NYC, one in 2012 at La Mama ETC and one in 2013 at the River to River Festival. O’Harra also directed, wrote for, and performed in the Dyke Division of Two-headed Calf’s live lesbian soap opera “ROOM FOR CREAM.” O’Harra is currently working on several projects: two performance projects with her partner Sharon Hayes—“Times Passes” (the Performing Garage, NYC) and “Act Two” (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam); a new musical with Lisa D’Amour and Connelly using Jack Spicer’s “Billy the Kid” poem; and “I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in Directing or Nine Encounters Between Me and You” at the New Museum. She is an Assistant Professor at Bates College.