Adrienne Truscott

Embracing Problem Work or “Failure” as a Feminist Act and Education by Adrienne Truscott Apr 29, 2021


Embracing Problem Work or “Failure” as a Feminist Act and Education 
by Adrienne Truscott

  • APRIL 29, 2021, 7pm PST 


Adrienne Truscott “is attracted to the possibility of failure as a mandate for rigor.”- Artist mission statement 

Adrienne Truscott, last seen at On the Boards as a part of SOLO: A Festival of Dance 2020, is a boundary busting choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, storyteller and comedian who has been making genre-straddling work for the last 20 years. Join Truscott as she gives a performance lecture about a show that has caused her nothing but trouble—from the humorously banal to the deeply consequential, both personally and professionally.  

At the time of its premiere, this show disrupted her confidence, professional standing, family relations and general well-being while also teaching her about her process, impulses and impulse control - perhaps more than any other show. This show has now garnered her both 4- star reviews and lost her a job and might be the best worst show she’s ever made.   



Adrienne Truscott’s work is hybrid and straddles lots of genres – choreography, stand-up comedy, drag/cabaret, writing and she’s half of The Wau Wau Sisters, a 15-year-long boundary-busting cabaret collaboration.  She engages different forms of live performance that look, act, and intend differently and she consistently seeks out different environments/mandates for her work rather than relegating it to specific economic, social, aesthetic, or geographic contexts. She’s curious about how different modes of presentation (i.e., experimental, international, commercial, or illegal venues) interact with different forms (dance, cabaret, circus, comedy) and how that can upend assumptions that often accompany these forms and their target audiences, respectively. Her critically acclaimed Adrienne Truscott's Asking For: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else is considered a critical impetus to the evolving conversation about rape culture, continues to tour internationally and was recently filmed at Joe’s Pub for a documentary. She’s a Doris Duke Impact Award Artist (Dance) and a FCA grantee for Theater and Performance. 

She’s been presented by or performed at Sydney Opera House, The Moth, The Roundhouse, CBGB’s, PS122, The Kitchen, Danspace, Judson Memorial Church, MoMa among others. She’s appeared in the work of choreographers Sarah Michelson, David Neumann and Deborah Hay among others as well as Half-Straddle Theater Company and John Cameron Mitchell’s experimental film Shortbus. She’s an occasional writer for The Guardian and her essays have been published in two Australian anthologies. Shows currently on tour are THIS (2018 Bessie Nominee for Outstanding Production), Wild Bore (Green Room Award (AU)), and Adrienne Truscott’s A One-Trick Pony (Or Andy Kaufman Is A Feminst Performance Artist and I’m A Comedian). A new work with Le Gateau Chocolat (UK/AU) will premiere in 2022,  brokentalkers (IR) and a new solo piece about genius and gender. Truscott has taught at Wesleyan University, Barnard College, Bard College, Princeton University and NYU and regularly mentors other solo artists.