Mud and Blood: Guest Posts from The Welders Document Process in Upcoming Shows

In a series of blog posts, guest writers from The Welders Playwrights Collective will use this space to document the development of projects-in-process: 'LadyM' and 'the earth, that is sufficient...'

Over the next few months, DC Metro Theater Arts will invite guest writers from two Welders projects-in-process to share their creative process with our readers. The Welders, DC’s only dedicated playwrights’ collective, selects a group of playwrights to lead and offers support to help each lead artist realize their vision. The two works being documented here are the final two works of Welder class 2.0. The third class of Welders will take over in January 2020.

Join us here as we document:
LadyM, a show about witches, violence and menstruation, being developed by Rachel Hynes, Francesca Chilcote, Anastasia Wilson, and Vanita Kalra.

And Annalisa Dias’ project the earth, that is sufficient…, an iterative ensemble-created performance series that illuminates the relationship between humans and the earth.

We are excited to offer our readers this special glimpse into the creative process behind these two works.

LadyM will play July 9 – 27 at Joe’s Movement Emporium – 3309 Bunker Hill Road, in Mt. Rainier MD.

the earth, that is sufficient… will play throughout 2019, in DC and around the world, www.sufficientearth.com.

AN INTRODUCTION TO MUD AND BLOOD
By Welder Hannah Hessel Ratner
May 15, 2019

Welcome to Mud and Blood: A chronicle of theatrical creation leading up to the summer solstice.

It is said that nothing can be certain except death and taxes, but we would like to suggest a more apt version would acknowledge the certainty of mud and blood. In our 21st century life, it is easy to think that we subsist on the digital and mechanical; we seem formed by the representations of ourselves through avatars we create. It’s easy to forget until we are faced with that bleeding cut or a muddy path, it’s easy to ignore the fundamental ingredients that are core to all animal and plant life.

The Welders producing playwright’s collective has two concurrent theater pieces in process that dig their hands deep into the mud and blood that form our lives. This blog tracks the progress of both works. As we head towards the summer solstice and the days reach their peak light, the projects will each be moving towards their next cycles of creation.

LadyM will begin rehearsals in earnest for their performances beginning on July 9. These rehearsals follow two years of devising and development by Rachel Hynes, Francesca Chilcote, Anastasia Wilson, and Vanita Kalra. The piece pits the poetic and sometimes absurdist lives of modern menstruating women against the themes, characters, and language in Shakespeare’s Macbeth to explore blood, ambition, sorcery as power, and violence. Publicly speaking about women and blood these days seems like a necessity as silence had lead to dangerous misconceptions about health, ability and gender and dangerous practices around identity, safety and bodily autonomy.

The iterative performance project the earth, that is sufficient is a contemplative and participatory inquiry into the precarity of human relationships to the extraction, consumption, and power. Producing Playwright and Director Annalisa Dias has brought together a team of transnational artists and makers to approach urgent questions about how we might respond in the face of the climate crisis. The team is wrapping up Phase One of its process this May, which resulted in three “mushroom” performances: Intertidal Vessels, Peak Bloom, and Erode/Return. You can view footage and documentation of that work at www.sufficientearth.com. Phase Two will take place in August & September (locations TBD), and Phase Three will take place in November at the Anacostia Playhouse.

Keep checking back through the remainder of the spring to explore how Welders Rachel Hynes and Annalisa Dias intersect their creative processes with a desire for building hope, climate justice, reproductive justice and above all bringing people together through theater and performance.

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