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Rachel Bowditch


February 01, 2013

<strong>ASU School of Theatre and Film Assistant Professor Rachel Bowditch</strong> was named one of the 100 most creative people in Phoenix by <i>Phoenix New Times</i> in 2012, and she is not resting on her laurels. This month, Bowditch will debut a new site-specific work for the IN FLUX series in Scottsdale, which brings multidisciplinary temporary art installations to vacant storefronts in downtown Scottsdale.   

Viewers will see a Victorian room resembling a faded sepia photograph or a memory. Periodically, a female performer in 19th century costume will mark the walls, floor, desk, the chair with memories from the notebooks and journals of famous women writers.

At night, the space will be dramatically lit with a warm ochre light attracting viewers to the storefront window from afar. Once they are there, they will see a woman moving at a glacial pace as she writes her memories on the wall. This piece promises to be both beautiful and haunting. Bowditch's ongoing interest in physical theatre, ritual, avant-garde performance and innovative digital technology can be seen at ASU MainStage performances on which she directs, teaches and serves as advisor, and through Vessel, the experimental theatre group she founded and in which she performs.  

Inspired by Oskar Schlemmer's 1922 piece spotlights three women, including Bowditch, dressed in metallic silver Renaissance-style costumes with corsets with peacock tendrils, horn headdresses and steel hoopskirts. Bowditch spent more than a month constructing the elaborate costumes. Vessel performances are often "site specific," where the actors walk through a public event in dramatic costumes and make-up at a slow, methodical rate. The effect is riveting.