by Elyssa Jakim
Shawn’s form and style defy conventions of an Aristotelian theater. The plays are comprised of a series of monologues delivered to the audience. In both The Designated Mourner and Grasses of a Thousand Colors, the characters recount the crumbling or death of a particular kind of society in the past tense. The action of the plays unfolds in the length of a story, in winding sentences that bathe—perhaps at times assault—audience members with words. The result of these past-tense monologues is the erasure of plot, which subsequently leads to an erasure of character.
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ELYSSA JAKIM holds a BA Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in Visual and Environmental Studies (Film and Performance Art Theory), with a minor in English literature and a citation in French. She has written extensively on film settings under the tutelage of Marjorie Garber, studied boudoirs in Paris and the Loire, created video/audio art, and trained in acting with Wynn Handman.