Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Theatre & Dance

First Advisor

Bud Coleman

Second Advisor

Merrill Lessley

Third Advisor

James Symons

Fourth Advisor

Michelle Ellsworth

Fifth Advisor

Michael Theodore

Abstract

Field of Mars Revisited focuses on defunct site-specific performance-opera-installation company, GAle GAtes et al. The company garnered a high level of notable reviews and funding over its lifetime, such as but not limited to: Art Forum, Art in America, The New York Times, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. GAle GAtes operated throughout New York City, internationally, as well as from its 40,000 square foot warehouse home in DUMBO (Directly Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) from approximately 1995 to 2001. The company was known for its large scale and spatially experimental productions, and was often inspired by great literary works and historical moments, such as The Odyssey, The Inferno, the invention of the camera, and the burning of Rome. This dissertation employs descriptive and analytical methodology, and is composed of historical research, production archives, and primary source interviews. Chapters are divided into 1) a description of the trajectory of the avant-garde leading up to the political/social/artistic climate of the period in which the company formed, 2-4) the formative years of the company and major works, 5-7) a discussion on the intersection of the visual arts, opera, and theoretical frameworks critical to the understanding of GAle GAtes et al. and 8) a discussion of the company and its 21st century counterparts.

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