We are deeply committed to working intergenerationally, both with people older and younger than us. Teaching has been an incredible way for us to not only share the knowledge we've learned over the years but also to learn from our students; the relationships we have built with our students have informed our practice in more ways than we can begin to say. Through teaching we confront head on how complex identities and difference may be negotiated through performance.
Lois is a Professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary University of London, where Peggy also received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in 2017. We were awarded the 2006 Martin Luther King, Jr.-Cesar Chavez-Rosa Parks Visiting Professorship at University of Michigan, and the 1997 Hunt-Scammon Distinguished Artist Residency at the Department of Theatre and Speech at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
We have taught in short and long term positions, engaging with students over many years or over just one day. We have taught on performance courses at New York University’s Tisch School of Art, Mt.Holyoke College, Wells College, Smith College, Amherst College, U. Mass, Cal Arts, Hampshire College, University of Hawaii, University of Northern Iowa, U.C. Davis, U.C. Riverside, and William and Mary. These teaching positions have often resulted in long term collaborations, friendships, and lifelong learnings.
During some of these teaching positions we even worked with students to create performances, like these two:
Valley of the Doll’s House (1993)
Created in residency with 26 students from the University of Hawaii in 1993. Based on Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" and Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls," the piece is a celebration of difference and a critique of whiteness set in the uniquely multicultural city of Honolulu that is both besieged by and dependent on a tacky tourist trade.
Footage of the performance can be found here.
Honey I’m Home: The Alcestis Project (1989)
Created in residency with students enrolled in a Feminist Theatre course at Hampshire College, this performance was based on Euripides’ “Alcestis”. The piece experimented with desire and gender. Despite the brutality of the original play, we started the creation process from a place of love and openness.
The script has been published in Diversifying Greek Tragedy on the Contemporary US Stage, by Melinda Powers.