Mallory Catlett / Restless NYC

Invited by Julie Archer
Author: Mallory Catlett / Restless NYC
Credits: Black-Eyed Susan (Performer) and Keith Skretch (Video)

Mallory Catlett is a director and dramaturg who makes performances across disciplines - theater, music, opera, installation and live art. She is known for her co-authorship of intensely collaborative works that disrupt theatrical convention and narrative structure.These practices reflect an interest in expanding what the theater can contain. Recents productions that exemplify these tendencies include: City Council Meeting (with Jim Findlay & Aaron Landsman) a live art event that the audience performs, made locally in each city that performs it (Diverse Works and the Mitchell Center, Houston; ASU Gammage, Tempe Arizona; HERE, NYC; Zspace, San Francisco); Dread Scott: Decision (with Dread Scott) a visual art performance installation at BAM's Next Wave Festival 2012; Red Fly/Blue Bottle (with Latitude 14) part concert, cabinet of curiosities, and video installation (developed and premiered at HERE in NYC and toured to EMPAC in Troy NY, the Noorderzon Festival, The Netherlands; and The Exit Festival, France); and Beowulf (with Banana Bag & Bodice) a mead hall musical that has performed in bars, music venues, spiegeltents and theaters regionally and internationally (Escale Improbables, Montreal; Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland; Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland; A.R.T.'s Oberon, Boston; Adelaide Festival, Australia; the Brighton Festival and Bristol's Mayfest, UK)

Restless NYC is an on and off-site theatrical enterprise Catlett started in 2004 to dismantle classical texts in an attempt to engage the past in a dialogue about its life in the present. An urgent imperative for the language is sought through contemporary circumstance and modes of performance that disrupt the text's relationship to it's story to make performances that get beyond interpretation. The first 2 productions were site-specific riffs on Shakespeare: As You Like: restless in arden a performance for 13 squatters set in a vacant building; and Rii, a performance for 3 men, set on the 31st floor of 14 Wall St. overlooking the stock exchange and lower Manhattan.

This Was The End, her current project, is the 3rd Restless production and the first to be performed in a theater. Here she uses Chekhov's Uncle Vanya to question how memory and longing functions in the formation of the future. 4 actors in their 60's ask: What do we do with our past? What can we make of it? 

This Was The End premieres at the Chocolate Factory in February 2014. 


Awards & Recognitions

  • New York State Council for the Art Individual Artist Commission (2008 & 2011)
  • New England Foundation For the Arts GrantAwardee (2012)
  • Edinburgh's Herald Angel Award
  • Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy
  • Obie Award for This Was The End (2014)
  • MAP Fund Grant Awardee (2008 & 2013)