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The New Allegory

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Nov 17, 2003
Nov 17, 2003
Segal Theater

NELSECThe New Allegory:
Antenna Theater’s “Skin & Bones/Flesh & Blood”
A lecture by Victoria Nelson

Victoria Nelson, the author of the recent The Secret Life of Puppets, reminds us that even in a perpetually-ironic postmodern society, we are always gripped by the fantastical power of the spiritual and the supernatural. Harold Bloom has described Nelson’s work as “alive and disturbingly truthful.” In her lecture entitled “THE NEW ALLEGORY,” Nelson asks us to revisit the morality plays of old and shows how they are embodied anew in the work of Antenna Theater, a contemporary California theatre group. “Skin & Bones/Flesh & Blood” reinvents the morality play in a site-based performance mixing animated objects and puppet-headed human characters. The piece, which follows a suburban matron Everywoman in her journey through life, death, and afterward, uses allegory, mime, multiple environments, and Walkman audio narrative commentary in aesthetically innovative ways. By illustrating the deep and unexpected connections between human-centric Expressionism and the old god-centric Neoplatonism, the complex reactions the Antenna Theater’s staging produces in its audiences as they walk through the Marin County Recycling Center are surprisingly not unlike those of the old allegories.

Victoria Nelson is also the author of My Time in Hawaii, On Writer’s Block and numerous essays. She has taught at Berkeley and the University of Hawaii and was the Edelstein-Keller Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of Minnesota. 

Cosponsored by the CUNY Ph. D. Program in Theatre and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. 

November 17th, 2003 6:30 PM 

FREE. No reservations required. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

The program will take place in the Martin E. Segal Theatre and will also include actual VHS/sound clips from a 1996 Antenna Theatre performance.