TALKS / WORKSHOPS
Dan Fishback has given talks and led workshops for a variety of educational, religious and social justice organizations, including Sarah Lawrence, Vassar, Dickinson College, New York University, various SUNY colleges, Oberlin, Nehirim, the American Jewish World Service and others. He continues to develop his workshops as part of his residency at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, where he teaches regularly. In addition to the talks and workshops described below, he is also available for more conventional theatrical and musical performances, with a large body of monologues and songs that can be specially arranged for different audiences and occasions. Fishback's work is uniquely suited to events involving LGBT identity, Jewish issues, alternative performance, and the history of AIDS. To inquire about booking, email him.
"While program manager of a Jewish-arts college initiative working with 6 very different campus cultures/student populations, I rarely found an artist who was the right fit at more than one of my participating schools. Dan’s material is so engaging and intelligent that, coupled with his versatile performance skills, he was a hit with students on each campus I brought him to. Every college he visited expressed interest in bringing him back again the following semester."
- Jackie Miller, Reboot
"Having known Dan for some time and followed his career, I knew he would challenge students, faculty, and community, and provoke an important conversation on campus. I knew he would be hilarious, too. What I hadn't predicted was how warmly he was embraced - he made an instant and deep connection with many students that they were still talking about weeks later. I hope to bring him back to campus before long."
- Ed Webb, Professor of Political Science, Dickinson College
thirtynothing redux: 30 years of queer art, queer life and queer death
In his recent solo performance, thirtynothing, Dan Fishback juxtaposed tales from the terrifying dawn of the AIDS epidemic with stories from his own more innocent childhood in those same years. In thirtynothing redux, a multi-media talk based on that show, he applies a more analytical edge to this sprawling inquiry. As he unearths forgotten work by gay artists who died in the 80s and 90s, Fishback weaves stories from his own life through stories from theirs. Searching for role models and father figures amongst artists like Mark Morrisroe, David Wojnarowicz, David B. Feinberg, Essex Hemphill and many more, Fishback interacts with their work, dramatizing the generation gap between older and younger gay men. With insight, wit, and his characteristic dark, neurotic humor, Fishback tears open issues of sexual intimacy, mass death and cultural memory, creating an abstract theatrical landscape where the living and the dead can co-mingle and collaborate.
You Are The Toolbox: Elements of Solo PerformanceIn this interactive workshop, Fishback leads participants through a series of exercises to explore the creative and political potential in seemingly mundane personal experience. While this workshop is geared towards the development of theater pieces, students of all disciplines, artistic or otherwise, can benefit from the integrated perspective on life and art that these exercises offer. No acting or theater background is necessary to participate. Workshops can last one session or several, in one day, one weekend, or even over the course of a semester.
You Never Get To Make Out: A Very Serious Talk on Queer and Jewish Identity
Dan Fishback is queer and Jewish and can't tell the difference between the two. In this talk, the performance artist wonders why life in the shadow of death and destruction is so genuinely hilarious. Through a combination of humorous anecdotes and serious intellectual analysis, Fishback explores the role of writing and suffering in the development of Jewish and queer identity. Based largely on his play, "You Will Experience Silence," Fishback created this informal talk as a way to casually discuss philosophical issues without the dramatic pretenses of character, set design and heavy lighting equipment.