As an undergraduate, I thought I wanted to be an archaeologist. I was an anthropology major, and even did two archaeological digs in the southeast U.S. during my summers. It was thrilling to feel the finger marks left in a clay Poverty Point Object by someone from 5000 years ago. Still, theatre eventually won out and my career path shifted. The archaeology bug never fully left me though, and I now consider myself a theatre archaeologist.
What does that mean? According to Julian Thomas, "what archaeologists do is to work with evidence in order to create something, a meaning or narrative or story which stands for the past in the present." As a theatre artist, I am undergoing the exact same process: animating an artifact through storytelling to bring it into the present. Sometimes these are real archaeological artifacts like the 13th-century birch-bark tablets in my recent solo show Many Heads are on My Shoulders, and other times the artifact might be the script itself as in my recent production of Macbeth.