American Witches Workshop Series

Devised Theater/Performance Workshop: American Witches
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Free, but space is limited, advance sign ups required! (10 cents processing fee)




Mireya Lucio and Sallie Merkel will lead a workshop in the creation of devised theater/performance pieces through the practical creation of a devised piece around the depiction of witches in popular children’s/teen culture. This workshop follows their most recent devised performance “Our So-Called Sleepover or Freud and Jung crash 1995 through a Ouija Board,” which was performed at Automata Arts Space as part of the Live Arts Exchange festival in October of 2015 and explored themes of “female hysteria” and the conditions of girlhood as circumscribed by psychoanalysis and reclaimed, challenged and explored in both foundational feminist texts and mid-90s popular culture. This workshop will open up the research/rehearsal process to a participating audience and will examine the ways in which depictions of witches comment on “the feminine” and vilify/other/mystify women’s (invisible) labor as well as codify the different phases of a woman’s lifetime. Also under consideration will be the general histories of female labor and its value or devaluation in society and American regionalism as reflected in various witch archetypes (New England’s Puritanism, Delta Voodoo/Hoodoo culture, California mid-century occultism, Latin American Santeria and the contemporary West Coast posi-witch movement).
Mireya Lucio and Sallie Merkel met in New York at a weird meet-and-greet for prospective CalArts students in an art collector’s apartment before moving to California to get their MFAs in theater performance. They became fast friends and collaborators. Their adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s  “I Like It to Be a Play” was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and last year their devised theater performance “Our So-Called Sleepover, or Freud and Jung crash 1995 through a Ouija Board” was presented at Automata as part of the Live Arts Exchange Festival. Their favorite emojis are the pineapple and the donut.