The Wilderness

The Wilderness (premiere date 2026) is an outdoor, site-responsive, surrealist opera imagining liberated futures. This performance will incorporate  live music, dance, circus arts and poetry within an operatic framework. This performance asks the questions, what does it mean to decolonize our societies and live in relational rather than extraction-based communities? What is the relationship between liberation and the wild?

The third performance in the operatic Rewilding Triptych, The Wilderness is an investigation of the relationship between liberation and the wild. The premise of the triptych is that what is at the root of systemic oppression is the impulse from western, capitalist, colonizer culture to control nature in order to utilize it. The Wilderness explores the kinds of cultural fabric we might weave to render this system of control powerless and obsolete, and what kinds of community power we can build in its place.

The first part of the triptych, The Garden, asks how do we liberate ourselves from internalized, interlocking systemic oppressions (e.g. transphobia, and white-supremacy)? Part Two, The Wastelands, asks what is rewilding, and how is the process for bioremediating a contaminated industrial lot similar to and different from healing collective ecological grief? The third part of the triptych, The Wilderness, asks how can we learn from the wild what a diversity and abundance of liberated practices/worlds/communities could look like? 

This outdoor performance will take place in wilderness areas (state parks, etc) and will follow a choose-your-own adventure format. Using poetry, live music,  and aerial silks hanging from trees, the audience navigates their own fantastical journey led by the performers on branching paths.  The audience will be able to decide their own fate along the way, which determines different scenes that will be performed in the glens of the woods, painting a unique portrait of a liberated potential specific to each audience who views it. 

The Wilderness is the culminating performance of the Triptych in which performers and audience alike explore what it means to engage with our own wildness and how that engagement leads us closer to liberation. This performance will give our audience of active, witness participants an experience of the power of collective, liberated joy. The Wilderness will be a visceral and immersive experience, using music and intimacy to bring audiences into fantastic realities that resonate with profound implications in the “real” world.