Jeff McMahon

Jeff McMahon

Presented by Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York), Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), The Kitchen, PS 1, LACE, Cleveland Performance Art Fest., Los Angeles Festival, Jacob's Pillow, Dixon Place, Highways, Son of Semele, The Moth, Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe), Dance Works (Toronto), and other venues in U.S. Canada, Europe. Dance films shown worldwide and...
Presented by Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York), Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), The Kitchen, PS 1, LACE, Cleveland Performance Art Fest., Los Angeles Festival, Jacob's Pillow, Dixon Place, Highways, Son of Semele, The Moth, Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe), Dance Works (Toronto), and other venues in U.S. Canada, Europe. Dance films shown worldwide and nationally broadcast TV. Training: theatre/dance at Reed College, and with Joan Skinner, Mangrove Collective, James Tyler, Ruth Zaporah, and David Schein. Voice/singing with Jeannette LoVetri. He received eight Fellowships and two Project Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fellowship from the NY Foundation for the Arts, funding from the NY State Council on the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and a fellowship from the Monette/Horwitz Trust. Dramatic works published in his book, Six Monologues 1990-2007 (NoPassport Press 2018). Essays published in Table Talk: From the Threepenny Review (Counterpoint Press 2015), Innovation in Five Acts: Strategies for Theatre and Performance ed. Caridad Svich (TCG 2015), LOST AND FOUND; Dance New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now (Danspace Project 2016), Culture Wars (New Press), Poor Dancer's Almanac (Duke Univ. Press), Hyperallergic, The Guardian, Performance Research, TDR/The Drama Review, Kenyon Review Online, Contact Quarterly, PAJ/Performing Arts Journal, City Limits, Teaching Tolerance, The Threepenny Review, Movement Research, Gay/Lesbian Review Worldwide, Response: The Digital Journal of Popular Cultural Scholarship, Contemporary Theatre Review Backpages and The New England Review.
In 1998, he completed a Master of Fine Arts in the Writing Program, School of the Arts, Columbia University, after completing a BA in Interdisciplinary Art at SUNY/Empire State College in 1995. In 2001, he became Resident Artist at Arizona State Univ. in 2005 appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre and Film, and in 2011 Associate Professor. He has taught at Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba), Dartington College(U.K.), Glasgow School of Art, the Center for New Dance Development (Netherlands), Kutztown Univ., Otis Art Institute, Art Center College of Design, and California Inst. of the Arts. He chaired and served on panels for the College Art Assoc., Performance Studies Int., Hemispheric Inst. for Performance and Politics, the Assoc. for Theater in Higher Education, the Performance Art, Culture, Pedagogy Symposium at Penn State Univ., Modern Language Assoc., the Rothermere American Institute at Univ. of Oxford, and the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality.
He was a writing fellow at the Edward F. Albee Foundation in Montauk, NY, and at the Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain. Currently lead writer and co-director of the web series In It To Win! and writer/director of the short film, (Ob)scene (2018).
Website and blog https://www.jeffmcmahonprojects.net
Videos archived http://vimeo.com/jeffmcmahon

Plays

  • Straight Talk (a work-in-regression)
    a multi-character play in seven scenes, satirizing modern communication through the speech of young adults. The language is debased, often obscene and aggressive, with unexpected leaps into elevated speech and longing vulnerability. This sudden switching of tone requires a very flexible sense of “realism.”
  • Special Operations
    The script plays with espionage and deception through a dialogue between two men whose identity forms as their alliances shift, and as a third man performs military drills around them. Another critical role in the play is played by the unseen Secretary, whose identity shifts partway through the play, throwing into question just who might be the victim of the characters' machinations. The play takes...
    The script plays with espionage and deception through a dialogue between two men whose identity forms as their alliances shift, and as a third man performs military drills around them. Another critical role in the play is played by the unseen Secretary, whose identity shifts partway through the play, throwing into question just who might be the victim of the characters' machinations. The play takes impetus from several contemporaneous sources; the tapes of Enron executives, the ongoing revelations of imprisonment and abuse in the Iraq war, and revelations about the ideology of the George W. Bush administration, especially in regard to independent “contractors.” The script combines fiction and non-fiction, pulling quotes from journalism as well as extrapolating from statements from politicians. The play examines and holds up to ridicule the idea of "action," specifically the Bush doctrine emphasizing "action" over analysis (and intelligence).
    Special Operations requires three live male actors (and one male voice-over), willing to work outside of the boxes of realism and psychological justification. They should have some experience and interest in physical theatre and the absurd, able to work externally as well as internally, and as much with movement, space, time, and shape as with text.
  • Honorable Discharge
    A monologue written in 2004. Created in response to newspaper reports on the killing of Mario Albert Madrigal, Jr. an unarmed 15-year-old, by police in Mesa, Arizona in 2003. The 2nd invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and British had recently begun. The script incorporates quotes from news reports, public figures, and works of fiction, as indicated.
  • (Ob)scene
    Written for the After Orlando International Theatre Action, in response to the 2016 mass murder at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, (Ob)scene is uncomfortably timely. This short monologue does not directly reference Orlando or Pulse, yet the speaker takes the point-of-view of a shooter, a deeply disturbed young man planning a killing spree as a perverse extension of his theatrical training. His mocking...
    Written for the After Orlando International Theatre Action, in response to the 2016 mass murder at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, (Ob)scene is uncomfortably timely. This short monologue does not directly reference Orlando or Pulse, yet the speaker takes the point-of-view of a shooter, a deeply disturbed young man planning a killing spree as a perverse extension of his theatrical training. His mocking, teasing, grimly playful tone reveals a mind both logical and completely unhinged; he is murderously rational. Is this a performance, an audition, a confrontation with a captive audience? It is not clear.
    In 2018 it was made into a short film by writer Jeff McMahon, featuring performer Brandon Ferderer.