Posted April 5, 2023

New Teaching Resource: Experimental Performance Scenarios


We are pleased to share our newly published Litmus Teaching Guide, Experimental Performance Scenarios, a three-book reference map exploring the constellation of thinking around performance writing. For this guide, we have prepared discussion questions and generative prompts focusing on containment scenario: DisloInter MedTextId entCation: Horse Medicine by M. Mara-Ann (O Books 2009), The Supposium: Thought Experiments and Poethical Play in Difficult Times edited by Joan Retallack (Litmus Press 2018), The Triumph of Crowds: A Distributed Performance Lecture by Brigid McLeer (Litmus Press 2019).

Experimental Performance Scenarios provides an array of entry points to the featured works and their authors. These three texts explore the relationship between the written word and performance, and with this digital resource the works can be taught individually or as a collection. The guide includes questions intended to deepen understanding of the text and provides performance-related exercises.

The guide aims to activate the reader’s engagement with global sociopolitical realities. The Triumph of Crowds: A Distributed Performance Lecture,  follows the structure of a play, reflecting on the Occupy Wall Street movement and exploring the ways that our capacity for societal transformation can grow by way of public assembly. While studying the lecture, readers of the teaching guide are invited to wonder, “What might this book be saying about the power/possibility that exists within a collective or crowd?”

containment scenario: DisloInter MedTextId entCation: Horse Medicine, a type of “poem-theater,” and The Supposium: Thought Experiments and Poethical Play in Difficult Times, with its “forms of creative play,” invoke multiple genres and disciplines to bring forth politically-centered performances. containment scenario’s hybrid poetics generate an ecological assemblage pulled from an international climate change report. The Supposium, an homage to Plato’s Symposium, elicits responses from several artist-contributors engaged in social interventions that touch on diverse contexts ranging from global refugee camps to Black Dada.

With our new guide, we invite readers to expand their thinking across genres, offering prompts that engage visual media, poetic writing, and embodied movement. Readers can explore the “Extending the Conversation” section to independently discover texts suggested by the featured authors, as well as other works that may be in conversation with these experimental performances.

Our Litmus Teaching Guides are free online tools for readers, instructors, and students to support the study of works published by Litmus Press, O Books, and The Post-Apollo Press. The guides can be used in classrooms, reading groups, and for personal study.