Women's Writing for Performance

Date:27 April 2006

Free One day workshop

Speaker: Marisa Carnesky

Influenced by illusion, folklore, burlesque and inspired by her own Eastern European heritage, live performers in the fairground, and particularly the tradition of the tattooed lady, Marisa Carnesky has been making inter-disciplinary performance work for over a decade. She trained as a dancer, visual artist, and performance artist and produces work, which, whilst exploring notions of cultural identity, sexuality and gender, touches the fantastic and the provocative. She has performed on a regular basis with shows that combine modern performance with the spectacular style of the cabaret and the freakshow. Marisa's recent work includes: Carnesky 's Ghost Train, an authentic touring ghost train ride featuring spectacular visual, digital media and magic effects; and "Jewess Tattooess", where her own markedly and beautifully tattooed body is the focus of a work that examines her relationship to Jewish culture and the Holocaust through elements of Yiddish and victorian melodrama, the macabre French Grand Guignol theatre, and the German expressionist films of the twenties.

Marisa will lead a practical workshop on devised performance exploring the use of popular entertainment forms such as magic, burlesque and fairground in new performance and how they can be used metaphorically to explore wider themes.

Participants will be asked to bring one of the following to the workshop:

  • an object about which they can tell a story which has personal meaning - this could be an ornament or jewellery, a picture that moves them, an item of clothing that they find interesting. We will do physical warm ups, theatre games and trust exercises, leading to group and solo improvisations on a theme and devised performance. We will look at movement, voice, spatial awareness, alongside theme and content. A willingness to try things out essential!

This workshop is part of a three-year practice-as-researchinvestigation into women's writing for performance led by Elaine Astonand Gerry Harris. Over the three years, a series of three and five dayworkshops will be held at Lancaster University, with a final symposiumtaking place in 2006.


Further Information

Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK