Featured Artists: Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, Victoria Pettersen Lantz and Melissa C. Thompson

These next three featured artists will be setting up shop at FOOT 2016 with their performance piece All Night Check: Beautiful Young Ladies to (Theoretically) Perform for You:

Inspired by the writing on an historic brothel coin, All Night Check: Beautiful Young Ladies to (Theoretically) Perform for You takes the form of a Brothel of Academia, a place where the commodification of the female body clashes with or relates to female scholars. By actively engaging the audience throughout the piece—choose your own (non-sexual) adventure style—we highlight the ways in which women “perform” within and against cultural standards of womanhood.

Given the way in which mainstream male-dominated sex culture often dehumanizes women, and the ways in which women tend to define themselves as academics, we subvert assumptions about the female body as a sexual or a genderless object. We explore the artifices of the sexual fantasy industry and academic settings, pointing out ways in which they overlap and how we perceive the female body within these locations. The piece, a series of digital and live performances that the audience moves freely through, challenges spectators-participants to acknowledge and embrace the artifice associated with sexual power dynamics in culture and politics and gender dynamics in academia. All Night Check skews the sex culture tropes (porn story lines, clothing, viewing of sex) and academic tropes (panels, Q&As, the language of scholarship) in blatant and satirical ways, the audience can critically engage with the tensions between artist/activist/academic and the female body.

Performer Information and Bios:

Angela Sweigart-Gallagher and Victoria Pettersen Lantz (The Wandering Uterus Project) both earned doctorates in Theatre Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They founded The Wandering Uterus Project as a response to the recent assaults on women’s reproductive rights. They use their bodies, political statements, classical literature and science, and interactive performance techniques to create work that highlights social norms and injustices against women. Their original performance Dr. Womb and Dr. Tomb’s Wondrous Wandering Ward of Cures, Correctives, and Creams for All that Ails and Avails the Utilitarian and Utterly Unreliable Uterus, premiered in Chicago in 2013.

Melissa C. Thompson (The Sacred Heart Archive) earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she specialized in Performance Studies, gender studies, and experimental performance.  She is the founder of the multi-disciplinary arts project The Sacred Heart Archive, whose works include Ask the Ambien Cassandra and The Key Said and the Door Said Run and the Door Said Fly. She has conducted original performances and physical theatre workshops both nationally and internationally, appearing at venues such as Highways Performance Space, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Centre for Performance Research, and Jerusalem English-Speaking Theatre. 


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