Mary Tuomanen is a playwright and performer recently named the 2017 F. Otto Haas Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist by Theatre Philadelphia. She received the inaugural Artist Residency at Christ Church Neighborhood House for her play, Peaceable Kingdom (2017). The play was nominated for 7 Barrymore Awards, receiving honors for outstanding costume design as well as the Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award for best particular understanding of our global community.
Tuomanen is a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first producing playwright’s collective, and a company member since its inception in 2009 of the radical theater collective, Applied Mechanics.
Named Best Theatre Artist by Philadelphia Magazine in 2015, she was a finalist for the Haas Emerging Artist Award in 2014, 2016, and a grantee of the the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage for her collaboration with Aaron Cromie, The Body Lautrec.
A collaborator at heart, she will be working while at Haverford with a new creative team of five on an emergent play about the peasant revolt of 1381 and rehearsing for the debut performance of their newest play with her collective theater troupe, Applied Mechanics.
She has performed with many regional theater companies and devised companies in Philadelphia and beyond, including Lantern Theater Company, Arden Theatre, The Riot Group, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Opera Philadelphia, Theatre Exile, Azuka Theatre, and Interact Theatre Company, who premiered her play Marcus/Emma in 2017 (now nominated for the Independence Foundation Best New Play Award.) Her one-woman shows, Saint Joan, Betrayed and Hello! Sadness!, have been performed at the Annenberg Center, the Kimmel Center’s SEI Independence Studio, Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble, and FringeArts.
She alternately attends Friends Meeting of Philadelphia and Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.
When Eve Span
Saturday, February 3
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 4
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
GIAC Swan Multi-Purpose Room
For logistical details and to save you a spot contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Haverford students and other Tri-Co community members are invited to workshop early scenes of a fledgling collaborative theater project about the English peasant uprising of 1381, working with Mary, historian and author Mark O'Brian, theatermaker John Cresswell, and UPenn professor of sociology Andy Lamas.
Workshop: Introduction to Immersive Work
Saturday, February 10
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Applied Mechanics makes work that engages all the senses. The Introduction to Immersive Work takes students through the process of creating a fuller experience for the audience member, through mindful use of sound, movement, text and space. The Mechanicians help students transform the raw material of themes and images into theatrical provocations, and experiment on fellow classmates to hone and improve their projects. Students experience the thrill of putting performer and audience in direct contact, learning creative ways to negotiate and mine that relationship.
Performance: Hello! Sadness!
Saturday, February 10
Hello! Sadness! is a dark comedy that weaves a story from Joan of Arc to the Black Panther Party to misogynist stand-up to awkward French New Wave dancing. With imagination, visual projections, and a perfectly interspersed sound design, audiences move about from the here and now to 1960s Chicago, an intoxicating poppy field, fifteenth century France, a street run by prostitutes, a museum, a trial, a speeding car, a secret place of joy and rage. Mary Tuomanen proposes humor as a weapon for social activism—to laugh at the oppressor in all of us, then punch him in the face.
Thursday, February 15
The World-Building Workshop allows students to do the impossible: create, in detail, an imaginary society. In this class, both utopias and dystopias are built from scratch, and entire cultures can be invented with their own language, soundscape, physicality and architecture. Once multiple worlds exist, they are brought into contact with each other in guided improvisations, exploring cross-cultural communication and translation. This is a fabulous challenge for students in a multitude of courses of study, including theater, modern language, sociology, anthropology and political science.
Performance: This is On Record (Formerly titled CHRONOTOPE)
Saturday, April 14
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This is On Record is about the challenges of documenting a historical moment. We are investigating stories themselves -- how humans use media to construct and perpetuate cultural narratives. In a time when our American cultural narrative seems so fractured and the role of media as government watchdog so imperiled, This is On Record is an essential piece to make. The audience has the opportunity to “watch the watchers,” as they follow the lives of journalists, artists, documentarians, translators, etc. who tell the story of their time. You could spy on a sculptor as she designs a memorial to a national tragedy, or watch a documentarian as she edits a film about that same sculptor. This is On Record presents the human creators of our cultural understanding of memory, and exposes the filters, pressures and privileges that inform how history is recorded. It both raises questions about the idea that we “consume” media, and reveals the ways in which we inherit values and assumptions without even realizing it. The stories we encounter become an unconscious part of us, and people we never meet can shape our most dearly held beliefs without our notice. CHRONOTOPE also brings us the added challenge of incorporating more technology into our work than ever before -- a design that utilizes projections, live audio and online elements to investigate how media is created and consumed.