Visiting Artist | May 13-25, 2013
The Clay Duke
Seattleite Dayna Hanson came to MANCC to develop The Clay Duke, a hybrid new work loosely based on a 2010 school board shooting in Panama City, Florida. The Clay Duke is a work of devised dance theater that blends details from the 2010 school board shooting with investigations of Anton Chekhov and the vigilantism of the 1970s Death Wish crime film franchise. Bringing these various sources together under the creative umbrella of this singular play, Hanson’s use of of dance, music, and theater creates a strange performance logic attempting to discover hope in a grim story.
This was the first major residency for The Clay Duke outside of Seattle and was used to develop the character and choreographic base of the work to inform the overall structure of the piece. While The Clay Duke is not intended as a literal rendering or documentary performance of the shooting, Hanson’s use of the details of the event—including staging, characters, rhythm, theatrical arc, physicality and dialogue—deeply influence and shape the work. To that end, while in residence, Hanson and her collaborators traveled to Panama City to attend a school board meeting. Here, the group was to be able to draw directly from the location and from individuals who had been involved in the shooting.
Following a rigorous rehearsal schedule, the group shared their working process through an open rehearsal. The audience was able to witness the slow building process, through text, character development and blocking, that allows details to be refined into a more fully developed picture. Additionally, during her time in residence, Hanson experimented with music and lyrics along with recording text for the piece.
On The Boards hosted the world premiere of The Clay Duke Dec 5-8, 2013.