kin • song: ode to disability ancestors


tree on hallowed ground
Event Status
Dec. 2, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 3, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 4, 2021, 2 p.m.
Dec. 4, 2021, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 6 to 12, 2021, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Virtual Performance

Conceived and directed by Alexis Riley

kin • song: ode to disability ancestors is a digital performance ritual, a cybernetic seance. Through monologue, dialogue, puppetry, song and dance, we will join creative forces to call upon the ghosts of our disability ancestors, waking them from their unmarked graves to join us in an act of mourning, celebration and care. Here, in the sacred timespace of performance, we will name them, claim them and honor their brilliance, all before (finally) laying them to rest. 

This devised production invites us to grapple with the long history of ableism in Austin, in Texas and in the United States. It demands that we answer that history, accepting a kind of responsibility to those who came before. Finally, it asks us to care for their memory and in that caring, dream a more just future. 

Contains mature content and themes. kin • song: ode to disability ancestors engages historical disability trauma. In order to fully address these themes, the production contains brief ableist language and non-graphic images associated with institutionalization.

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View the kin • song: ode to disability ancestors playbill.


December 2-4 at 7:30 p.m.
December 4 at 2:00 p.m. 
On-Demand: December 6-12, 2021

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A VIRTUAL EVENT: Performances will be presented online only. kin • song: ode to disability ancestors will be available on-demand December 6-12, 2021. 
Performances of kin • song: ode to disability ancestors have now concluded. Those interested in lending support for this project and the work of Texas Theatre and Dance may do so here. (Please note that this support does not include the ability to stream the performance after live shows have concluded). 


There will be a post-performance discussion featuring members of the creative team following the 2:00 p.m. performance on December 4, 2021. More information will be made available in advance of the event. 


Alexis Riley is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in performance as public practice at The University of Texas at Austin where she produces academic research and theatrical performances about disability and madness. She recently received a 2021-2022 Charlotte W. Newcome Doctoral Fellowship through The Institute for Citizens and Scholars for her dissertation project, “Patient Acts: Performance, Disability, and the Making of Mad Memory.” Currently, Alexis serves as the co-artistic director for Dislocated Theatre, an East Texas-based arts collective dedicated to creating theatre anywhere but a theatre.


NEW THIS SEASON: Texas Theatre and Dance is pleased to announce the inaugural year of our Studio Series. These works are curated to represent new, risk-taking projects by faculty and staff of the Department of Theatre and Dance in a space that allows for growth, exploration and experimentation. 

Click here to view this video on Vimeo.

kin • song: ode to disability ancestors is produced, in part, through generous support from The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts Diversity Committee Student Project Grant.

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