Original Phantom Limb Company Production
BAM Next Wave Festival November 2018

"Falling Out is the final piece in Phantom Limb’s trilogy about people’s changing relationship to nature over time.

As with most of our productions, Falling Out starts with a staging idea and a puppetry concept. 

As my daughter slept one day in her room, a small white tutu sat on the floor of her bedroom, the window slightly open let in a breeze and slowly as if unseen hands moved it the crinoline slipped across the floor.  I was immediately struck by this image and began to think of radiation and the unseen but incredible impacts all around it and an idea for a set design emerged.

 Photo Courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Photo Courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Erik and I have been lifelong fans of Butoh dance and the group Sankai Juku.  We began to think: how do we respond to this new falling out while collaborating with a butoh artist and puppetry.  How can we create a new expression, one that begins to address the sensation of the effects on water and land as well as the people who inhabit, depend on and love these places? We will work with Dai Matsuoka, dancer from Sankai Juku to see what happens when you apply the principals of Butoh to puppetry (and vice versa).

 Photo Courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Photo Courtesy John Michael Kohler Arts Center

We have received funding from the Japan Foundation to support our first two residencies.  In October of 2016, we inhabited rehearsal space granted to us by LMCC and began this inquiry with puppets, Dai Matsuoka and performers as well as 3000 yards of crinoline- all stuffed into trash bags- much like the radioactive soil in Fukushima.  At the Hermitage Artist Retreat in June 2016, I began collaging and mapping out the narrative which uses the actual disaster and a couple’s experience of it played by several characters as the fulcrum in the story telling.

This Spring, I traveled to Japan for three months on a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to study Japanese traditional arts, spend concentrated time in Fukushima and Northern Tokohu in tsunami devastated areas as well as further the collaboration with Dai Matsuoka.  I returned to the States and immediately met the entire collaborative team at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and together we created a draft of the show that will be revised and revised as we search to find a way to communicate hope in the face of some very harrowing circumstances.  We are asking ourselves how  we define hope and we will ask you that too.

Banner Images by Sierra Urich


Falling Out is commissioned by BAM for the 2018 Next Wave Festival and is made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Falling Out was developed through residencies at John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts in Sheboygan, WI; CalArts Center for New Performance; Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden; the Hermitage Artist Retreat; and as part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Process Space program.

Falling Out is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program; the Asian Cultural Council;the Jim Henson Foundation, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; New Music USA; and with the assistance of New York Live Arts. To follow the project as it unfolds, visit my project page: https://www.newmusicusa.org/projects/falling-out/