Death Clowns in Guantánamo Bay
devised theatre, 2013
artistic director, playwright
About the project
The idea for Death Clowns in Guantánamo Bay emerged from a practiced-based research project in the first year of my PhD at the University of Toronto. For that research, I was interested in exploring what Hans-Thies Lehmann calls a “politics of perception,” which he sees as part of the way that postdramatic theatre has displaced more the overt models of politics that characterized political drama or epic theatre. I was curious to test what it would look like to stage a play about an explicitly political subject connected to my dissertation research using postdramatic methods. The following year, I assembled a team of about 40 people to produce the show. Our dramaturgy teams included four writers who devised scenes. The play soon came to be about the politics of representation in the context of a subject shrouded in secrecy and complicated by cultural difference. We used a form of clowning as a way to gesture towards the failure of representation in our work. The play was assembled much like a collage, using images from drawn from our research and repurposed for theatrical ends.
Death Clowns in Guantánamo Bay. Devised by Matt Jones, Allison Leadley, Natalia Esling, and Myrto Koumarianos. Starring Lesley Robertson, Christine Mazumdar, Audrey Amar, Alan Belerique, Rob Bril, Alex Contreras, Kaitlin Heller, Ula Jurecki, Myrto Koumarianos, Grace Poltrack, Anna-Marija Stojic, Peter van Wart, and Matt Jones. Directed by Ashley Williamson. Luella Massey Studio Theatre, Toronto. 21-24 Mar. 2013.