Farm Arts Collective founding artistic director Tannis Kowalchuk has created a new solo performance entitled Decompositions.
Kowalchuk explores decomposition as a metaphor for life. Employing her devised theatre practice and life as a farmer, Decompositions is an original song-filled, multimedia performance that digs into birth, death, farming, art, decay (aging) and transformation.
Featuring a compost pile at center stage, the performance begins with excerpts from the Gertrude Stein essay, "Composition as Explanation," providing an entry into the existential monodrama.
In this deeply personal theatrical meditation, Kowalchuk explores the composting process as analogous to the process of her own aging-- at one point in the performance, she tosses a “finished” sunflower onto the compost pile and describes the biological composting process which ultimately leads to the creation of humus --a word that shares the Latin root with “human.” Kowalchuk’s humorous and poignant stories of breast cancer, menopause, and stroke take audiences on a journey of longing to accept mortality as elegantly as the compost does its transformation.
Written and performed by Tannis Kowalchuk, “Decompositions” is created in collaboration with director Mimi McGurl, songs by Rima Fand, beats and soundscapes by Janhavi Pakrashi, music by the Farm Arts Collective, and projections by visual artist Phyllis Lehrer. Technical director is Jess Beveridge.
The evening will open with author Darcey Steinke (Flash Count Diary, Suicide Blonde) who will read from her new book on the body and
Decompositions is a production of Farm Arts Collective. It was first seen in a workshop presentation in November 2022 at Delaware Valley Opera Center in Lake Huntington, NY, at played at Pontine Theatre in Portsmouth, NH in February 2023, and Goddard Arts, NYC in March 2023.
With support from Network of Ensemble Theatres, and ART/NY.
Darcey Steinke is the author of the memoir Easter Everywhere, Flash Count Diary and five novels: Sister Golden Hair, Milk, Jesus Saves, Suicide Blonde, and Up Through the Water. Her books have been translated into ten languages, and her nonfiction has appeared widely. Her web story “Blindspot” was a part of the 2000 Whitney Biennial. She has been both a Henry Hoyns and a Stegner Fellow, and a Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. She has taught at the New School, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York University, Princeton, and the American University of Paris. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn and Long Eddy, New York.