At the beginning of 2016, dog & pony dc launched a new programming initiative by hosting monthly devising sessions, or “Open Studios.” These Open Studios are opportunities for us and our guests to create on our feet, explore intriguing ideas, and further our exploration and understanding of audience integration techniques.

Ensemble member Lorraine Ressegger-Slone explores her experience of this program:

This month, in honor of Mother’s Day, I got to explore a project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It is a piece inspired by Euripides’ play Medea (about a mom who kills her children), and the Mexican/American myth of La Llorona (a mom who kills her children). I’ve always been fascinated by the similarities of the two tales and the ways in which both women are portrayed as witches, as victims, as love-lorn evildoers. After becoming a mother myself, I was even more intrigued by what would cause a mother to react in such a violent and final way.

I reached out to several artists who are mothers that I respect and admire, to have a discussion about motherhood and the sense of isolation that it can bring, as well as a loss of identity, community, and power. We also discussed the ways in which mothers are portrayed, and their serious lack of presence in art and the media. We had a fascinating and empowering conversation around what it means to be a mother and an artist, and about why Medea and La LLorona are so vilified (other than the obvious…) The Open Studio allowed me to scratch an itch that I’ve had for quite some time, and I look forward to investigating this project further.