Novena: A Theatre Project Interrupted

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Novena was a capstone project that was to be performed at NYU Abu Dhabi. It was the result of more than a year of preparation and four years of education. The project was postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

I’m a stranger in my own soul
I’m stuck in a deja vu
I feel like a ghost visiting my body in the past.
I’m homesick from my old self but I’m feeling at home
Sometimes I tell myself I want to go back to normal, but this is my new normal

Novena is an autobiographical performance piece exploring the impact of religious social scripts on the performance of the female body. Drawing aesthetic imagery from Catholic performance practices and rituals, Novena depicts a recluse bride who imprisons herself in a church to atone for her sins. We watch as she processes her feelings of transgressional guilt in contention with her instinctual pleasures.

Exploring the impact of religious structures on a woman’s coming of age through prose, song, and dance, Novena questions the process of outgrowing and interrogating institutional beliefs ingrained in the female psyche.

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Photographs by Daniel Rey

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Serenading a Wild God

By Jon Terranova
kenton nelsen charitably inclined
I passed through valleys
and fields
that swept with
golden glint,
They’d been developed
from indifferent sun rays
that kept us still

Oh! the things we forget
when we stir nerves in flux
the nonsense of day to day
bread ensconcing us numb.

the distractions, the passive
life, the bourgeois boredom
the petty holidays where they ski
and slurp,
shooting down slopes
like smirking berks

We’ve cancelled the fumes
and the arrogance of man
‘I’m in charge of my own destiny’

No, you’re not, my children
for I am!

I’m serenading a wild God
whose wrath is Cain’s blood
running through the ruthless force
of nature, and why these things
happen they ponder…?
Whilst continuing their
own selfish pursuits of
pleasure.

I’m serenading a wild God
and free will
is done
through his son, who
when frozen on a wooden cross,

before the spear split his side
let
out a cry
eloi eloi lama sabacthani!

May these dark
and hopeless times remind us
that we are not in control
and that hope lurks
only in the blood Of Christ

 

Artwork by Kenton Nelson