Augustine Machine ou Encore une nuit d’insomnie

Directed by Travis Preston

Travis Preston (Executive Artistic Director, CalArts Center for New Performance) leads an international ensemble from California Institute of the Arts and Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique, Paris.

Using the history and origins of hysteria as an entrypoint, the ensemble examines the breadth of possibilities of the human body. A visible alphabet of dance, video projection, and collage become tools for physical expression. The company moves through Hysteria, Ecstasy, and Revolt in this metaphorical testament to the collective experience.

Developed in the U.S. and France, this thrilling new work features creative contributions from Amanda Shank, Marie Darrieussecq, Tom Gunning, and more.

Developed in partnership with Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique, Paris.

With the support from Villa Albertine.

About the Artists

Travis Preston is an internationally celebrated director of theater and opera. His groundbreaking production of King Lear inaugurated the CalArts Center for New Performance. Staged in six locations within the massive factory spaces of the Brewery Arts Complex in downtown Los Angeles, Preston’s Lear challenged traditional interpretations of the play by employing a staging area of environmental proportions, unconventional uses of technology, an all-female cast, and a gripping post-modern aesthetic. Other projects include Bell Solaris with David Rosenboom, Macbeth starring Stephen Dillane (subsequently performed at the Almeida Theatre in London and at the Sydney and Adelaide Festivals in Australia), Ah! Opera, Brewsie and Willie with the Poor Dog Group, Prometheus Bound starring Ron Cephas Jones (in partnership with the Getty Villa), and Fantomas: Revenge of the Image – which had its world premiere at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China in 2017. Travis is Executive Artistic Director of CalArts Center for New Performance and Dean and Head of Directing at the CalArts School of Theater.

Amanda Shank is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles, California. With an experimental practice rooted in the interplay between text, image and performance, her work frequently explores themes of women’s identity and sexuality while also dismantling traditional notions of form, genre, chronology, and performativity. Amanda has developed projects with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National New Play Network, the Henson Foundation, Circle X Theatre, The Industry, the Prototype Festival, CalArts Center for New Performance, Los Angeles Performance Practice’s LAX Festival, and many more. She has presented work at venues such as the Ace Hotel DTLA, the Hammer Museum, Z Below, and Automata Arts. As a playwright, her work has been published in the U.S. and translated internationally. CNP projects include Travis Preston and Tom Gunning’s Fantômas: Revenge of the Image, which had its world premiere at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival; and Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden, writer-director Stan Lai’s site-specific collaboration with CNP and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Amanda is on the faculty and serves as Associate Dean at the CalArts School of Theater and is Associate Artistic Director for CalArts Center for New Performance.

Marie Darrieussecq was born in 1969 in the Basque Country. She has published twenty books, novels, short stories, biography, theater, non-fiction, and translation. Since Truismesin 1996 (American translation under the title Pig Tales, 1998), she has remained faithful to her French publisher POL. A laureate of the Prix Médicis and of the Prix des Prix (award of awards) in 2013 for her novel Il faut beaucoup aimer les hommes, her work is translated in many languages.  

Tom Gunning is one of the foremost film historians and theorists in the world. He is Professor Emeritus of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Gunning is the author of D.W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film, The Films of Fritz Lang; Allegories of Vision and Modernity, and Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema as well as over one hundred and fifty articles on early cinema, film history and theory, avant-garde film, film genre, and cinema and modernism. With Andre Gaudreault, he originated the influential theory of the “Cinema of Attractions.” In 2009 he was awarded an Andrew A. Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award, the first film scholar to receive one, and in 2010 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Creative Team

Travis Preston, Director
Amanda Shank, Collaborator
Marie Darrieussecq, Collaborator
Tom Gunning, Collaborator
Christopher Barreca, Production Designer
Keith Skretch, Video Designer
Jessica Emmanuel, Choreographer

Héctor Álvarez, Assistant Director
Mahmoud “Hunter” Abal-Sadeq, Assistant Director / CNP Intern
Claire Chrzan, Lighting Designer
Hunter Wells, Costume Designer
Clare Marie Nemanich, Sound Designer
Violet Smith, Assistant Lighting Designer
Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh, Assistant Video Designer
Ghazal Bazargan, Assistant Video Designer

Grégory Gabriel, Directeur des études, Conservatoire Paris
Rachel Scandling, Producer
Chris Swetcky, Production Manager
Cassy Sottile, Stage Manager
Lanae Wilks, Assistant Stage Manager
Percent Han, Associate Production Supervisor
Katherine Paez Froehlich, Associate Production Supervisor


Hakan Cosar, Performer
Chisom Diana Dimiri, Performer
Gala Nikolic, Performer
Ryan Nebreja, Performer
Madison Stamm, Performer
Henry Fulton Winship, Performer
Joe Zhang, Performer 

Alexandre Auvergne, Performer
Louis Battistelli, Performer
Asha Culhane-Husain, Performer
Clémence Coullon, Performer
Lomane De Dietrich, Performer
Hélène Gigou, Performer
Yasmine Hadj Ali, Performer
Olenka Ilunga, Performer
Samantha Le Bas, Performer
Mathilde Martinez, Performer
Agathe Mazouin, Performer
Guillaume Morel, Performer
Julie Tedesco, Performer
Léna Tournier, Performer
Alexandre (Ike) Zacsongo Joseph, Performer
Stephen Cat Saxo, Saxophonist