Adapted and directed by Quetta Carpenter, Caesar is a contemporary take on the tragedy. Carpenter has been as a recurring face on the ISF stage, appearing in both the 2015 and 2018 season. Julius Caesar’s days are numbered in this media-saturated, modern take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. With Caesar’s assassins in one camp and the inheritors of his authority on the other, political warfare consumes Rome—fought through social media and the 24-hour news cycle. Who will survive in the end, and will they still be themselves?

Illinois Shakespeare Festival announces world premiere adaptations for 2019 season

Encouraging Active Listening: Sound Toys

This project explores how sound-based tangible toys can encourage children to engage with sounds in their environment through active listening and collaboration with their peers. Toys focus on hearing sounds in relation to their environment such as the recording and playback of their own sounds. Playful manipulations such as being “caught” in a racket and blown out or shaking in sounds, stirring them to manipulate them, and pouring the mix out.


The quality of aesthetic and movement experience can be imperative to a physical therapy patient’s recovery. While the experience of moving is often restricted to the physical actions determined for the patient’s personal needs, the addition of external motivation such as interactive movement games can support the quality of the recovery experience. We ask the question, ‘how can interactive art games support a patient’s recovery process by focusing on quality of movement performance, enjoyment and engagement?’ The recent rise of virtual and augmented reality in gameplay with high resolution graphics and believable characters is now easily available to the consumer. This provides an opportunity to explore how these platforms of gameplay can be used for the betterment of people who are battling illness and injury. In our research of color psychology, movement quality techniques/observances, and implementation of gaming elements like scoring and entertainment, we hope to find trends as to what succeeds or what fails to make an enjoyable and productive therapy game. Our project will provide data and answer the questions: 1) How the quality of visuals affect the behavior of the patient, 2) How to simulate authentic therapy movements and exercises into real life and gaming situations, and 3) How to provide an experience for the patient that drives them to succeed in their therapy.

In collaboration with Kim Hobby



Few tools exist to support creative authoring with interactive or generative components. Cochoreo is a sub-module for generating body positions as keyframes that catalyze creative movement, as part of the movement sketching tool idanceForms (idF). Cochoreo catalyzes movement sketching by using parameters from Laban Movement Analysis, an existing movement framework, to generate unique keyframes that are used as seed material for choreographic process. idF is a creativity support tool that engages with choreographers’ creative movement process by design. This paper presents the design of Cochoreo and evaluations from our pilot study with university dance students.

iDanceForms | Camera Keyframing


While mobile authoring applications are proliferating, choreographic tools that support the generation and transformation of user-created movement ‘samples’ are less readily available. iDanceForms is a novel mobile choreographic application that generates unique movement choices through a camera stillframing technique to provoke movement catalysts. In keeping with the principles of whole body interaction [and principles of ‘defamiliarization’, the design of iDanceForms supports opportunities for surprise, unexpected movement choices and meaning-making. This work presents data collected from an observational study of choreographers using iDanceForms. In the study we found that choreographers appropriated the intended functionality of iDanceForms to create highly individualized and unexpected movement sequences. They found inspiration in exploring the unexpected framings of people and objects, which resulted in unique movement possibilities produced by the system. Drawing from our observations we discuss possible roles that sensor-enabled mobile devices could play in movement generation through personal meaning-making, creative choreographic strategies and discovery,and in provoking whole body interaction through principles of ‘defamiliarization’ in the context of HCI.

This work continues to be in progress and under review.

Mabel’s Corridor


Mabel’s Corridor is a performance that explores the mind-maze of a dementia patient named Mabel. Her stories (both real and imaginary) are told through various mediums including contemporary dance, projection art, and 16mm film.

The audience are observers of Mabel’s fragmented memories, and her distortion of time and place. Research for the piece involved interviewing someone suffering from dementia; the photographs, videos, and interview sound bites are based on her stories — some taken directly from her life.

Typographic Entanglement


We explore an interdisciplinary collaborative process through the lenses of Situated Actions and Distributed Cognition. These frameworks are adapted from the field of Human Computer Interaction to illuminate components of the decision making process. We approach this study through Participatory Autoethnographic methods by recounting a recent collaboration on an interactive dance performance project. We reflect on actions taken in order to explore how the distribution of cognition and modes of communication affect the authority guiding the project. We present collaboration as actions take from knowledge situated in the communal content developed by the team. By exploring this process in a performance-as-research context, signifiers emerge that help us to understand the role of authority in the decision making process.

Carlson, K., Corness, G., Schiphorst, T.,(2010)  Plan, Action, Collaboration: Reflecting on an Interdisciplinary Collaborative Process, Proceedings from The Embodiment of Authority Conference, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland, September 10-12, 2010.



Scuddle is a computational tool that was designed to influence and facilitate the generation of movement material, making the creative process (more) Present at Hand.  The tool uses a Genetic Algorithm to create ‘movement catalysts’ that provide a body position, height and effort qualities. The fitness function is based on heuristic rules designed from Laban and Bartenieff Fundamentals.  The system is used by asking a choreographer to generate a movement vocabulary based on the ‘movement catalysts’ and to use the catalysts to create a short solo work. Phenomenological interview techniques are used to facilitate choreographer’s discussion of the experience, focusing on how decisions are made as opposed to why they were made.



Contemporary dance is an experiential and time based art form with few available analysis techniques. Our design facilitates structural analysis of dance performance by codifying and plotting expert viewer information. ActionPlot is then useful to experts familiar with choreographic strategies and illustrates three levels; viewing for interpretation or meaning, for structural or performative information or for detailed movement information. Plotted elements include the number of performers, the performer’s attention and intention, the amount of effort used, tempo of the effort, the balance of the movement within the body and the time the action is performed. This process conveys information about the viewing experience in context, allowing the user to see structural and performative patterns, similarities and differences while comparing between two works. We detail our motivation, design decisions, implementation and a qualitative evaluation for the presented system.

Carlson, K., Schiphorst, T., & Shaw, C. (2011). ActionPlot: A Visualization Tool for Contemporary Dance Analysis. Presented at the In Proceedings of Computational Aesthetic 2011 Eurographics Workshop on Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization and Imaging, Cae’11, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Fleeing From Darkness


‘Fleeing From Darkness’ is a prototype of an interactive web application that explores the possibilities for replicating and engaging users in the practice of Neon Sign Tubebending. The project is currently in the wireframe state, with drawings for potentially interactive processes.

This project reflects an attempt to more deeply identify embodied knowledge in craftsmanship in order to engage in dialogue about the presentation and reproduction of such knowledge.

‘Fleeing From Darkness’ seeks to explore the possibilities for identifying and replicating certain components of intangible, embodied knowledge as a craft that reflects the heritage of 20th Century urban communities. However, the ability to identify and reproduce aspects of embodied, intangible knowledge is very difficult to do. This knowledge is often more easily explored and portrayed as the cultural significance and history of a particular practice.

While I have attempted to replicate certain processes of tubebending in ways that provide some insight into the skills required, it is simply not possible to fully attain this form of knowledge without the live, practical process of learning, trial and error.

This project illustrates steps in the tubebending process with the ability to design your own sign through a variety of interactive applets. The application steps the user through 5 steps: Design the sign blueprint, Bend the glass, Bombard and add the appropriate gas, connect the sign to current to be Burnin In, and finally apply paint to Blockin Out unneeded sections of tube light.