Eliana Rowe '20

Eliana Rowe

Major: Theatre and Performance

Title of Research: My Papier Mâché Monster (Dance Education In Aguas Frías, Colombia)
Partners: NUN/SELF/Playwright: Eliana Rowe
ISOLATIONIST: Elizabeth Caudill
PERFECTIONIST: Veronica Ritkes
BLOODLINE: Juice Mackins
MARTYR: Raquel Arabalo
DEPRESSION: Carrie Kinui
FIXER/BLOODLINE (Alternate): Ya’ShaNikquia Delaney
PAPIER MACHE MONSTER/FIXER (Alternate): Nicole Borbone
Director: Ashlyn Frank
Production Stage Manager: Kayla Otero (original PSM: Brittani Murphy)
Mentor: Mark Wendland
Abstract: Rowe began writing My Papier Mâché Monster in Fall 2018 in her flying solo performance class. It is a one-woman contemporary morality play. It’s surrealist form and pentecostal incantations paint an explosive tableau of life in between panic, nightmares and fractured identities. Trapped in the past is a young rigidly religious “nun,” Eliana. In pursuit to break free from reliving her nightmares, she finds that the incantations that used to dispel her monsters are no longer effective for her in a 21st-century reality. So she splits and splits again in attempt to redefine her alignment to herself, her demons, God, and the indiscriminate voices oozing from her head. She does this all to begin again and finally end up in the now. 

After performing the piece in the Spring 2020 Studio Season Double Bill, the creative and production team knew that the story of learning to trust one’s voice needed to be told in front of more audiences. My intention is to bring the original work to the Edinburgh Fringe to share the piece at the world’s largest arts festival. I believe that by illuminating my journey, the piece can give voice to people of color who feel alone in navigating the intersections of their mental health journey, sexual identity, and spirituality.At Fringe, the creative team will continue exploring these questions: how do you requaint the body to breath when the beliefs that once supported your survival now threaten it? How does public testimony inform a privatized experience?