Performance artist Peggy Shaw ruminates on life before and after the stroke she had in 2011, delivering a freewheeling monologue with deadpan humor and arresting honesty.

'Admirably unsentimental and often very funny indeed.’

New York Times


'A powerful ode to vulnerability'

Diva Magazine

There are dark spots and blanks in Peggy's memory now. Yet in paying tribute to the family, friends and performers who have inspired and kept her company over the years, she reflects on what is lost and equally celebrates the space left behind for new insight. Handing objects to audience members, calling out to Lois for help in the audience, and maintaining the constant presence of collaborators in projections and text, the performance lays bare the devices of care present in Peggy’s life, foregrounding the ways in which a solo performance is never really solo.

Using Green Screening Technology as a therapeutic technique for seeing radical alternate possibilities, Split Britches have created a performance framing Peggy’s newfound disabilities as possibilities for innovation. The use of this technology as a mode of therapy for stroke survivors was discovered while on residency at the University of Tasmania with technologist Matt Delbridge, and has expanded the scope of the performance project. Research into the efficacy of avatars as a form of rehabilitation for stroke survivors is an ongoing project in partnership with Prof Pat Healey and Rosella Galindo Esparzo at the Department of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London. More information on this project can be found here.

RUFF was commissioned by PS122, NYC and OutNorth, Anchorage, Alaska. Winner of the PS122 Ethyl Eichelberger Commissioning Award (2011) and a Rockefeller MAP Grant (2011).


Trailers by Claire Nolan | Thumbnail images courtesy of Konfrontacje Tealtralne


Technical Design Jo Palmer
Documentation Claire Nolan
Produced by Tracy Gentles & In Company Collective
Supported by Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England

Written by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver
Directed by Lois Weaver
Music and sound by Vivian Stoll
Set and media design by Matt Delbridge
Lighting and video photography by Lori E Seid
Movement consultant Stormy Brandenberger