Closeup Image of polished vintage wood flooring at CFPA - Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Artist Reflections: Beth Ann Powers

Beth Ann Powers is a Twin Cities theater artist, in residence at cfpa this spring as part of our Works in Process artist residency. Beth Ann has excavated her personal relationship with mental illness and recovery, and investigated how durational/endurance performance can create space for an audience to find themselves in a piece. Her mentor for this project has been Kira Obolensky.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely those of the artist. More about Beth Ann here.


The process of creating this piece has been one of taking the extremely internal (and thus largely invisible) aspects of my experiences of depression and externalizing them.  I am trying to physically put my body through what my brain experiences on a daily basis. This has been found through a lot of trial and error: finding what movements feel familiar and then using the tools of duration and endurance to push them to a truthful extreme. I have been challenged, more than ever before, to put my writer’s brain on the back burner and try to tune into my own emotions and follow where they lead. This has not always been easy. Duration, as it turns out, is pretty exhausting, especially when it is so intertwined with depression, which (surprise!) is also exhausting.

It can be a frustrating place to live, but also an incredibly cathartic one. Forcing myself to live honestly in and with my illness in this way has helped me process and view it in a new way. I am working towards a point where the healing I have found through this process is healing that I can extend to the audience.

Please join us for the public presentation of Spring 2019 Works in Process
featuring the work of:
Nora Montañez, Beth Ann Powers, and Alexandra Bodnarchuk

Saturdays, April 19th and 27th
7-9 pm
All public events at cfpa are PayWhatYouCan donation.
Advance reservations are encouraged.

cfpa’s ReClaim series is an assembly space to connect all kinds of audiences, artists, experiences, and stories. Our events explore the vitality and evolution of American identity, and the ways in which creative works reflect our lived experience (or not). Our events grapple with the stories we hear and see, the stories we make and tell, and the ways in which we are (or are not) changed by creative representations of our experiences. We support artists who engage fiercely with the complex and contradictory nature of the human experience. We support audiences who yearn for greater personal engagement between works of art and the daily life of our community. We assemble for lively questions, dynamic conversation, and to encourage new ways of understanding each other’s lives.