• "It challenged me – it shook up my assumptions...It pushed my definition of beauty into channels that are rarely exercised...it WOKE ME UP." --Transpersonal Theatre

  • "A visionary with a knack for creating experiences that transcend the norm...fostering a community of absurdly talented and dedicated individuals who make up her untheater troupe. The scope of this production was unreal...a masterpiece." -- Geekadelphia

  • “The story defies synopsis, but with the simplest of means—hardware-store technics, admirable puppets, and gorgeously-painted banners…the themes come together to ring with emotional truth and, like ripples in a pond, seem to expand out into the universe...One of the best productions of the year.” –The Milwaukee Examiner

  • “Gorgeous, poetic, funny, moving…I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.” –The Urbana News-Gazette

  • "The romance of vaudeville, the adrenaline of punk, and the playfulness of the Children's Television Workshop...packing the house with theatre buffs as well as with those who tend to fidget in velvet seats." --St. Louis Magazine

  • "The productions are big, bold, and unendingly impressive." --Baltimore City Paper

  • "A welcome oasis of imagination...rife with creativity and play. High-energy, funny, and surprisingly moving." --DC MetroArts

  • "A night at the theater has never looked so delightfully weird…Bizarrely frolicsome, cogently playful, sweetly surreal...quirky, but also exquisitely made and elegantly presented." -- The Santa Fe Reporter

  • “Like arts and crafts on crack...like a bunch of summer camp counselors performing a fairy tale with a set designed by deeply disturbed scrap-bookers...It was a kick-ass, amazing performance." --The Seattlest

DonnaHello! Welcome to this website that I’m trying to get organized!

 

I am a theatre artist and writer living in Southwest Philadelphia.

 

My work occupies a unique space between social practice, performance art, pageantry, clown, and American musical theater. I’m interested in creating spectacular, enthusiastic performance (often with untrained performers) that celebrates our individual creativity and our power when working collectively. Plays are generally my medium of choice, since they highlight the power of strategic resourcefulness, ambitious imagination, and simply working together. They also offer unbeatable views of vulnerability, unpredictability, and ephemeral moments whose marks on us are permanent.

 

In a world where technology is so ubiquitous as to become invisible, I treasure the high-magic-but-low-tech, the analog, and the painstakingly handmade.

 

In a culture that creates such an abundance of waste, when natural resources are finite, I prioritize using and re-using salvaged and recycled materials for sets, props, and costumes. Ask me about my world-class mold collection!

 

In a society where the loss of personal connection is often lamented, where multitasking is a given and our relationships are so often mediated by technological devices, my work serves as an opportunity to acknowledge each other’s physical presence and the effects we have on each other. It brings people together in a room, or a field, or any other gathering place and offers the time and space for being together, unabashedly breathing and aware of each other’s liveness.

 

I’ve been honored to show my work at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York, FringeArts in Philadelphia, The Baltimore Theater Project, Bread & Puppet Theater, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and Bedlam Theatre and In The Heart of the Beast Theater in Minneapolis. I’ve been just as honored to perform more often in less-likely places like bedrooms, post offices, grocery stores, intentional communities, info-shops, squats, farms, and community centers around the world.

 

In 2005, I co-founded The Missoula Oblongata, a touring punk rock theatre company, with whom I wrote, designed, built, and performed plays for seven years. That company has since dissolved, and I’ve continued to create my own work, participate in others’ work, and develop new collaborations since then.

 

In 2007, I moved to Baltimore to join up with some old friends as a part of the internationally recognized artists collective, Wham City. My interactive play-in-a-box-for-an-audience-of-no-one, One Pair was included in the Wham City Box Set, which was released at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Wham City’s They Should All Be Destroyed (A Jurassic Park Play), which I directed, was cited by Rolling Stone as one of the reasons Baltimore had the “Best Scene in the Country” that year (2008?) and toured the East Coast twice to sold out houses. That same year, Baltimore’s City Paper called DIY Theatre the city’s “Best Trend”, saying: “[Baltimore’s DIY theater scene] is perhaps best exemplified by overlapping theater factions of Wham City…and Missoula Oblongata…the productions are big, bold, and unendingly impressive.”

 

I have led performance workshops at Southern Illinois University, Hampshire College, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Dartmouth College, Evergreen State College, and at plenty of other spots, too. My projects have been finalists for grants from the MAP fund and Creative Capital. I’m a two-time recipient of the Leeway Art & Change grant, and of the Puffin Foundation grant.

 

I’m committed to theatre as a vital and populist medium.

 

I like being asked to participate in other people’s projects, or to teach workshops, or to perform or direct something in your community.

You can contact me at DonnaOblongata[at]gmail.com