The Inquisition

Dorit Cypis

1991, 83:00 minutes, B&W


Performance documentation,
Southern Theater/Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Between January 17 - 19, 1991, I, and a cast and crew of 18 people, performed "The Inquisition", at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Each of these nights the central character, Miss Jones, struggled with the
fragmentation of her sexual, spiritual and social self. Each night, the social body aspect of Miss Jones died. Each night, like a million nights before, she died from a history of colluding with dominant culture's shame,
of forgetting herself. She too had forgotten her sexual body, her spiritual voice. What she had been left, her social body, could not sustain her.
Each night , she died in the arms of three others, each one an aspect of herself she long ago unwittingly discarded. Each night, these three, who would not abandon her, even after having been abandoned themselves by her, called out to the audience, "is there anyone here who will speak for Miss Jones ?".
Each night, eight Witnesses stepped forward. It was these Witnesses who, in courageously retelling their stories of remembering themselves, succeeded in awakening Miss Jones. Perhaps now she can begin to willfully reconstruct herself.

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Critical Writing

Staged Inquisition masks complexity of trials women face
by mike steele. Star Tribune, Jan. 19, 1991.