DON’T FEEL: THE DEATH OF DAHMER

 

DON’T FEEL: The Death of Dahmer was produced at Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory (San Francisco, CA) in February 2010 and featured Evan Johnson’s original script based on the life (and death) of the gay serial killer Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer.

“Don’t Feel” humanizes its subject without recourse to crass sentiment or apology. And Johnson’s supple, multifaceted performance is passionately committed, deft and fearless. It’s a riveting communion with the dead, in several directions at once, and it will leave you troubled and moved.

– Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian

“As an experiment in getting inside Dahmer’s head, it’s impossible to know how accurate it is, but it’s an absolute success in the way it constructs a narrative to help you understand the thinking behind the unthinkable.”

– Sam Hurwitt, Theatre Bay Area

Press Release:

 

The World Premiere of:
“DON’T FEEL: THE DEATH OF DAHMER

 

Written and performed by Evan Johnson
Directed by Eric Wilcox
Co-Produced by 1111 Art Group
Supported in part by MCVF D.I.Y. Residency Program

San Francisco, CA –  Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, San Francisco’s premier location for original queer performance, in conjunction with 1111 Art Group, a local research-based arts collective documenting the queer experience, presents DON’T FEEL – The Death Of Dahmer an original solo performance based on the afterlife and aftermath of deranged homosexual serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Evan Johnson (SHAME!, Martha the Failed Actress, SF Boylesque), irreverent clown and solo  artist, makes a bold foray into complex psychological territory with the world premiere of his original work: DON’T FEEL. Opening Valentine’s Day weekend, as part of MCVF’s 2010 D.I.Y. Residency Program, this play is directed by Eric Wilcox (SF Bufons: Divided We Fall, SPUNKThe Hasheesh Eater). Johnson’s study on Dahmer is a macabre and darkly humorous mix of internalized homophobia, mental instability and erotic distortion.

DON’T FEEL takes place within Jeffrey Dahmer’s final moments of brain activity, a unique setting which makes for an experimental performance event that confronts the viewer with a multitude of questions. What happened to the soul of “born-again” Jeffrey Dahmer, once his fellow inmate (nicknamed “Christ”) struck him dead? What effect does Dahmer’s story have on the collective queer psyche? Should we place Jeffrey Dahmer in the queer continuum? Is abnormal sexuality a choice? Who is to blame for compulsive behavior?

During the fast-paced performance, Johnson contorts his body and manipulates his voice to play a plethora of characters both real and imagined, creating a disturbing world in which Dahmer, as a troubled queer man, wrestles with his mortality and the fate of his soul. Ernesto Sopprani, co-founder of 1111 Art Group chose Johnson’s play as the group’s inaugural production due to the subject matter and its uncommon humanity, “DON’T FEEL removes Dahmer from a fixed place of judgment and allows for other perspectives to emerge.” said Sopprani.

Drawing on 2 years of research and development, Johnson explores Dahmer’s inner landscape through use of authentic audio footage, projected images and fully realized characterizations. Wearing only an orange jumpsuit and an iconic pair of glasses, Johnson performs as Dahmer, his victims, his naive grandmother, a 5th grade teacher, a hissing demon and many others.

DON’T FEEL is a shockingly queer performance piece that challenges notions of identity and its relationship to choice and action, presenting evidence of our shared responsibility in the creation of society’s damned ones.

Check out the official trailer here.

Also, check out Sean Malroy’s incredible sound design here.



 

DON’T FEEL – The Death Of Dahmer opened February 12, 2010 and closed February 27th.
For more information about DON’T FEEL – The Death Of Dahmer contact Evan at (916) 879-2073
Or email him: lotsofevan@gmail.com