Todd J. Coulter

performer, director, choreographer, and scholar*


*PDCandS - not necessarily in that order

There is no satisfying way to bring all of those labels into a single word. I am each of those things, but they are not mutually exclusive. My work as a professor and scholar informs my work in a studio. My studio work informs my performances, and so on. Many of us work through and across these traditional labels. My interest is to begin to speak about them as a collective process. The intellect is not confined to our brain and our brain is not limited to the grey mass floating in the salty sea of our skulls. My work takes the form of papers to be delivered at national conferences, directing, choreographing, acting, and dancing, teaching all of those things as well as history and theory in college, university, and professional settings. 


Making Work

The work I am interested in making does not seek to announce itself. It does not seek to assert itself without conversation or dialectic. It does not interest itself in answering every question for the audience or reader, but it does hold itself accountable to the questions raised. I believe we can share each other's stories while we hold the tension of the past and its pain, but I do not believe we can talk for someone else. Performance should not seek to elicit a homogeneous response from an audience. An article or book should not be polemical insofar that it shuts down communication. I believe that performance is a political action - we are putting our bodies on the line. Performance can comfort, but I don't believe it should anesthetize. Writing does not need to sound academic to be smart and insightful, and vocabulary and specificity are also important. Above all, I believe that our experiences are full bodied. We have the capability to feel a reading in the same way we can feel and experience performance. Some things I try to keep in mind when doing research: 


Rent was right:
There is no future.
There is no past.
There's only this.
There's only us. 


What happens when we take things on their own terms? If we let work reveal itself rather than wrestling it to our will? 


Allow every part of performance to have poetic and narrative potential. Find the right form for the content. It might not be an essay.


Know the rules before we break them, but break them all the time.


“ The world

only spins


Tony kushner  |  Angels in america: Perestroika