Don DeLillo: The Body Artist // Adapted & Directed by Jody McAuliffe
Don DeLillo's 2001 novella, The Body Artist, is at once a ghost story and a love story. Lauren Hartke - a performance artist whose work crosses the limits of the body - lives on a lonely coast in a rambling rented house. After a catastrophic event, she encounters a changeling with uncanny knowledge of her own life. Together they journey into a spare, seductive outpost of grief, time, and love. The Guardian proclaimed it "a distilled meditation on perception and loss, and a poised, individual ghost story for the twenty-first century."
DeLillo himself gave director/writer Jody McAuliffe (who adapted and directed Mao II for Theater Previews at Duke and conducted an especially rare interview with DeLillo in 1999) permission to adapt The Body Artist for the stage. She worked with acclaimed set designer Jim Findlay - by now a Duke Performances regular through his work with David Lang and Hiss Golden Messenger - and riveting actor Jess Barbagallo, hailed by Time Out New York as a visionary and "formative muse" for the decade, to stage a workshop performance at New York's famed Abrons Arts Center in 2017. Duke Performances presents the world premiere of the production, with both audience and action on the same stage at Reynolds Industries Theater. Rachel Jett, the artistic director of the National Theater Institute and premier American practitioner of the movement system created by Moscow master Andrei Droznin, plays the haunted, haunting body artist.