Dec 2, 2014
Dec 7, 2014

Give Back my Beast

a black arrow pointing downward

Give Back my Beast is a multi-media Gallery Installation created and performed by Woof Nova collective member Daniel Allen Nelson in collaboration with Production Designer, Jeanette Yew, and Director Kara Feely. The performance will occur daily featuring Nelson along with Marie-Christine Katz and Tavish Miller as they transform the installation around the audience. The piece marks the culmination of a more than 2 year process in the creation of video, design and text. It follows in Woof Nova’s tradition of creating productions that meld extensive research with poetic language and imagery.

Give Back my Beast explores tipping points and accidents, both natural and human-caused that send us hurdling toward extinction. It is a eulogy to the beasts and myths soon to be lost, and questions if humans possess the ability to enact benevolent transformation. Daniel Allen Nelson performs within his multi-media installation consisting of artifacts and remnants of an extinct cultural and natural environment, bearing a nostalgic resemblance to our own world of just a few moments ago. Nelson shapes a narrative that cycles between transformation and extinction as he grapples with the waning worlds of nature and imagination, and envisions the stories and images that exist in the realm beyond extinction.


Multi-Media Installation and Performance by Daniel Allen Nelson
Created by Temple Crocker & Daniel Allen Nelson
Performed by Daniel Allen Nelson, Marie-Christine Katz and Tavish Miller
With Film Performances by Temple Crocker and Sarah Lloyd
Directed by Kara Feely
Production Design: Jeanette Yew
Production Stage Manager: Elizabeth Nielson
Video Design: David Pym
Sound Design: Brandon Pane
Assistant Director: Ilana Khanin
Assistant Stage Manager: Olivia Rubano
Video & Photo Direction: Jeremy Ayers
Original Music: Chas Marsh


WOOF NOVA is a New York based collective founded in 2006. We create handcrafted performance works utilizing the physical language of the body in relationship to specifically created environments, where objects and space are as elemental as words and movement. We are interested in what is beneath the surface of our everyday lives: the patterns of words and actions, the necessity of our connection to one another, the cycles of time, experience, and nature. Through contemplation and humor we aspire to expand thought and perception; inviting the part of ourselves that too often lies dormant, to be awakened and nurtured, so that together with our audience we may see the world anew and perhaps for a moment or two glimpse the inherent breadth of our own lives.

Woof Nova’s work has drawn on a variety of sources including literature, philosophy, the study of physiology and architecture, the culinary and visual arts and the relation between science and the imagination, memory and presence. We have completed six original works: “veils/vestiges: the aesthetics of hidden things”, “Sedimentary”, “Hearts and Tongues” and the trilogy: “Spoleum”, “Don’t Peek” and “The Vanishing Play”.

Daniel Allen Nelson (Creator/Performer) is a New York based performer, writer, director, designer and founding member of Woof Nova Collective ( His original performance works include: The Vanishing Play (Incubator Arts Project), Don’t Peek (LaMama ETC), Hearts & Tongues (LaMama ETC, LOF/T Space- Baltimore, & Ko Festival), Spoleum (Ontological-Hysteric Theater & Baltimore Theater Project), Sedimentary (Ontological Theater & Galapagos Art Space), Veils/Vestiges (Ontological Theater). Performance credits include: Richard Foreman’s “Idiot Savant” (Public Theater), Marie-Christine Katz’s “Unraveling” (The Kitchen), Jeff McMahon’s “Straight Talk” (Dixon Place), Object Collection’s: “No Hotel” (Incubator Arts), Actua (Invisible Dog) & “Famous Actors” (Ontological Theater), Joshua Gelb’s Blind Alley Guy (IAP), Pioneers Go East’s: “7AM di Mattina” (IAP), and Charles Mee’s “Fire Island” (3-Legged Dog).

Directorial credits include: Tom Breidenbach’s: “Pharmacose”, and “Bleat”, both staged at Ontological Theater & Galapagos Art Space; Chris Tanner’s “Footballhead” (LaMama & Dixon Place); and the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s “Veronica” (Hudson Guild). He was SDC Observer on The Composer is Dead (Dir. Tony Taccone- Berkeley Rep Theater), & is an Assoc SDC member. He served as Asst. Director to Everett Quinton on Chris Tanner’s “The Etiquette of Death” (La Mama). And worked with John Jesurun as Technical Director for “Red House”, and as a performer in “Shadowland”. His scenic and puppet designs have been seen at various venues in NYC including St. Ann’s Warehouse, Mabou Mines, and Poet’s Den.

Kara Feely (Director) is a writer, director and designer for experimental theater and interdisciplinary performance. Her work draws inspiration from experimental writing and music composition strategies, and combines a variety of materials, from found text fragments and landscapes of objects, to recorded interviews and radio broadcasts. Works she has written and directed for the company include: Innova (Abrons Arts Center, Incubator Arts Project, 2011), The Geometry, co-written with Jennifer Walshe (Chocolate Factory Theater, 2009), Problem Radical(s) (PS122, 2009), Gun Sale (Prelude Festival and on tour throughout Japan, 2009) FAMOUS ACTORS (Ontological Theater, 2007), Evoke memories of a golden age. (Ontological Theater, 2006) and Is this a gentleman? (Ontological Theater, 2005). Is this a gentleman? was published in Antennae, and FAMOUS ACTORS in PLAY A JOURNAL OF PLAYS.

Additional projects with Object Collection for which she has worked as writer, director, and/or performer include: the 2008 Experimental Music series at the Ontological Theater; the experimental music and reading series CHOP SHOP (Berlin); the sound-interview installation L-shaped not more than seven feet at TESLA/Podewil (Berlin); and John Cage’s Song Books at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter (Cologne). She has also performed throughout Japan on Object Collection’s 2008 and 2009 tours, at KuLe (Berlin), Experimental Intermedia (New York), the AMBUSH series at Chez Bushwick (Brooklyn), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn), and presented a solo show at the Los Solos series (Baltimore).

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew is a New York based theater designer in lighting and video. She is also a puppetry artist and has extensive experience with new works and adaptations in a collaborative setting.

Her designs have been seen in US cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami, and internationally at Havana (Cuba), Prague (Czech Republic), Lima (Peru) and Edinburgh (Scotland).  Her work has appeared in venues such as BAM Fisher, the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, HERE Arts Center, St. Ann’s Warehouse, ArtsEmerson, The Ontological-Hysteric, Manhattan School of Music, Teatro Mella, The Zoo Roxy, The Flea Theater, Joyce SOHO, The Chocolate Factory, REDCAT and Highways Performance Space.   She has designed for theater, opera, musical events, and installations.

Some of her recent designs and collaborations include: The Civilian’s Paris Commune and In the Footprint, Aya Ogawa’s Oph3lia, Artifact and Yatra Samudra Samma: Journey to the Ocean (with Adhikaar and produced by The Foundry), Elizabeth Swados and Cecilia Rubino’s From the Fire (winner of the 2011 MTM: UK Musical Theatre Awards for Best Musical, Best New Production and Best Music), The Foundry & Kirk Lynn’s How Much is Enough?, Their Eyes Were Watching God with Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Erik Ehn’s Soulographie: Our Genocides and his Frankenstein (Mortal Toys) and Invisible Glass, Kara Lee Corthron’s AliceGraceAnon with New Georges, Sheila Callaghan’s Roadkill Confidential (premiere production), Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, A.R. Gurney’s Office Hours, Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant Returns in: The Mothership Landing (2012 New York Innovative Theatre Awards Nominee for Lighting Design), and Chromatic Presence (an interactive lighting installation with John Lennon’s white piano).

Through puppetry, Jeanette has created innovative and interactive performances.  Her toy theater production of The Butcher Men was invited to the 2006 Prague Quadrennial and her digital puppetry adaptation of the Book of Genesis, MILK, was part of the Labapalooza 2007 presented at St. Ann’s Warehouse (NYC).  Her most recent production, Are They Edible? (to be premiered at La Mama November 2013), is a multi-sensory performance that engaged and challenged all senses through food and puppetry in a non-traditional audience setting.  At a workshop, one participant described it as, “a banquet in which everyone is made to feel welcome and encouraged to indulge…And on the purely theatrical level, the food’s placement conditions the space and defines the play’s physical and intellectual parameters.”

She was the recipient of the 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program and teaches at Stony Brook University.

This project is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Give Back My Beast received developmental support as part of the Artist Residency Program of The Drama League of New York, Roger T. Danforth, Artistic Director, Gabriel Shanks, Executive Director, funded in part by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

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