Adrienne Truscott—choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, and as of late, comedian—has been making genre-straddling work in New York City and abroad for over 20 years. She was one of 20 artists selected nationally as recipients for the inaugural 2014 Doris Duke Impact Artist Award and is a 2017 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grantee for Theater/Performance Art. Her evening-length solo comedic work and group choreographic works have been presented variously at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs, Darwin Festival, PS122, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, Dublin Fringe, Danspace, Boom Arts, New York Live Arts, The Malthouse Theater (Melbourne), and Dance Theater Workshop, among others.
The Wau Wau Sisters, her boundary busting neo-vaudevillian collaboration with Tanya Gagne, have been presented by such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House (Aus), Joe’s Pub and CBGB’s (NYC), Victoria Arts Center (Melbourne) and The Roundhouse (London). The Wau Wau Sisters are fixtures at among others, the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Brighton, Adelaide, Perth and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals and are seen regularly in the international sensations La Soiree and La Clique. Their contemporaries broadly recognize the influence of their radical and ludicrous take on circus and cabaret.
Her form-busting and ground-breaking show Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! won the 2013 Edinburgh Foster's Panel-Prize, was a finalist for the Total Theater Award for Playing With Form and is considered a critical impetus to the evolving conversation about rape culture. It continues to tour internationally and has been presented by or included in curriculum at CalArts, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Louis and Clarke College among others.
As a writer, her essays have appeared in two Australian anthologies – Women of Letters: Between Us and Doing It: Women Tell the Truth about Great Sex. Other essays have been published in The Guardian, Mamma, and several other print and online publications. She recently appeared as a storyteller at the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas and on the iconic series The Moth.
Truscott has taught at Wesleyan University Dance Department as a visiting artist, and has guest taught at Sarah Lawrence College’s Theater and Dance Departments and Yale Universtiy.
Truscott learned how to and continues to make work in terms of choreographic composition, an early application of form that seemed to allow for the most broad investigation, loose interpretation, and varied possibilities. This impulse remains strong because increasingly live performance strikes her as the most radical way to re-engage people's attention—not just socially or politically, but personally, aesthetically, energetically; the most available way to trigger the act of paying attention. She engages many genres of live performance that look, act, and intend differently. Her work is held uniquely in common by this understanding of composition, enabling it to remain clear while being complex, sophisticated while accessible, available yet mysterious, personally unique while layered in abstraction, entertaining yet rigorous and serious about being humorous. She has consistently sought out different environments/mandates for her work rather than relegating it to specific economic, social, aesthetic, or geographic contexts. She is curious about how 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.
She is attracted to the possibility of failure as a mandate for rigor.