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Slant: A Performance About Falling, Failing, and Risk

  • the warehouse on prime 1402 Prime Court Pasadena, CA, 91104 United States (map)

Written and performed by A.B. (née Ashley Beard) | Co-directed by Craig Gingrich-Philbrook

Emily Dickinson’s famous line, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant —” inspires this performance that explores the risky endeavor of telling stories, true stories, queer stories. A performance about coming out at the tender age of twenty-five after several years of working in Christian ministry, Slant asks what can be seen from the slant of falling, of failing and of “risking ourselves precisely at moments of unknowingness.” Drawing inspiration from performance artist Bas Jan Ader and writers such as Joan Didion, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Samuel Beckett, and Jack Halberstam, this solo performance is a bricolage of stories, poetry, and images about falling down, falling from grace and falling in ______.

Slant: A Show About Falling, was originally developed in the Marion Kleinau Theatre in 2016 at SIU, Carbondale under the direction of Craig Gingrich-Philbrook. Since its genesis, it has traveled to Philadelphia, Baton Rouge, San Angelo, and Melbourne, Australia.  In three acts A.B. recounts the clumsy process of learning how to be a lesbian: stumbling into her first crush, fumbling on her first date, falling out of the closet, and coming to latent terms with feeling like “a big gay failure.” Using stop-motion animation, mad yo-yo skills, and clumsy ballet moves, Slant stages Halberstam’s notion of The Queer Art of Failure alongside the myth of Sisyphus offering a poetic, aesthetic meditation on queer theory and personal experience.


A.B. is a queer performance artist from Los Angeles who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in performance studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. A Jill of all Trades, she can often be found writing, performing, painting, drawing, photographing, or sipping a stiff Old Fashioned.

BIO for Charlie Hope Dorsey

Charlie Hope Dorsey is a writer, performer, and poet from Southern Illinois. A queer single mother of two children, all her work is dedicated to them and lies at the intersection of performance, blackness, and sexuality. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in performance studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. 

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