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A multi-lingual poetic landscape centering around hysteria.


This devised piece was created with actors from le Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD) and the California Institute of the Arts.  After a six-week workshop at CalArts, we continued the process at CNSAD, where we opened.  


Augustine Machine begins with Louise Augustine Gleize and other  patients forced to endure brutal and traumatic “treatment” from neurologist Dr. Jean-Michel Charcot during his work on hypnosis and hysteria.  From here, we move into texts of religious fervor and ecstasy, and finally of revolution.  The three chapters collage elements of movement, projection, language, and sound to create a work more about feeling than understanding, as the texts span five languages.

It was a thrill to see the piece take shape in real time, and contribute both original and found music in rehearsal.  Director Travis Preston greatly emphasized the importance of following creative impulses–a method of intuitive creation I found extremely rewarding. 


Interfacing with the French technicians at CNSAD was a true delight. I also assisted our live saxophonist to create structured improvs for moments in the show.  As the company socialized and explored the city over the month I worked in Paris, I formed personal bonds on a level I had not previously known.  And enjoyed more conversation over an Aperol spritz than I can count.


The project will take on a new life in September 2023 at the Walt Disney Modular Theater at CalArts.  

CNSAD Actors:

Alexandre Auvergne

Louis Battistelli

Clémence Coullon

Asha Culhane Husain

Lomane de Dietrich

Hélène Gigou

Yasmine Hadj Ali

Olenka Ilunga

Samantha le Bas

Mathilde Martinez

Agathe Mazouin

Guillaume Morel

Julie Tedesco

Léna Tournier

Ike Zacsongo Joseph

CalArts Actors:

Hakan Cosar

Chisom Diana Dimiri

Gala Nicolić

Ryan Nebreja

Madison Stamm

Henry Fulton Winship

Joe Zhang

Director: Travis Preston

Assistant Director: Héctor Álvarez

Production Manager: Chris Swetcky, Valentin Pinoteau

Production Designer: Chris Barreca

Choreographer: Jessica Emmanuel

Saxophonist: Steven Cat Saxo

Stage Managers: Cassie Sottile, Lanae Wilks

Technical Director: Sébastien de Jésus

Lighting Design: Claire Chrzan

Lighting Technician: Stephan Moissetier

Sound Design: Clare Marie Nemanich

Sound Technician: Yann Galerne

Video Design: Keith Skretch

Video Technicians: Frédéric Pickering, John M. Warts

Costume Design: Hunter Wells, Christelle André

Scénographie: Constance de Lagaye de Lanteuil, Margot Bonnafous, Clothilde Feuillard

Prop Design: Christopher Rodriguez Jr.

Augustine Machine

ou Encore Une Nuit d'Insomnie

an artistic collaboration by

Amanda Shank

Marie Darrieusseq

Thomas Gunning

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