Mission and Artistic Statement

Sometimes, people want us to be serious, and to tell them what we're all about. Here's some lingo for that.

Mission

Mad King Thomas's mission is simple*:

  • to collaboratively and critically investigate the mundane and the sacred in a non-linear, multilayered language of bodies, sounds and images;
  • to share those investigations with others (usually through performance, spectacle, installation, film, education, and writing), by harvesting pop culture, history and personal stories and serving them with glitter, vulgarity and humor;
  • to subvert the heartbreaking mechanisms of the status quo and to ROMP IN THE NEW POSSIBILITIES OF A MORE AWESOME WORLD!

*Subject to change on whim. We reserve the right to be hopeful, decadent, radical, ornery, contrarian, unabashed, unashamed, bombastic, trashy, barbed, sexy, inconsistent, fantastical, serious, strange, ridiculous, and sad in the face of this incomprehensible, beautiful world, and we encourage others to do the same.

 

Artist Statement

We value shit; we poop gold.

We put on sparkles that are one size too small, then we make dances that ignore most definitions of dance. We say yes! to Madonna meeting Frank O’Hara, yes! to eating sausages on stage and singing Bohemian Rhapsody off-key. Yes! to crawling out of trash bags full of glitter and yes! to home-made pageantry. We love the world with a fierce passion and a fiercer discontent. Our sympathy is with the human, the messy, the amateur, the loving.

We make performance to intervene in a broken, unjust world. We find connection amidst chaos and harmony in contrarian cavorting. We are against so we can be for. When we feel like bullshitting, we call our work “fractured post-dramatic performance about power and identity.” We take our daily lived experiences, shove them together, and digest them into something performable. We layer these disparate moments and give them the chance to coexist in a strange and familiar landscape. Dead squirrels and star-gazing gods abut polar bears drinking Coke while relaxing on Astroturf, grilling the last orangutang.

We use these landscapes to subvert the ordinary. We want to tickle the edges of perception, to undo the ways we conspire against ourselves. We try being someone we are not, or we try being more of ourselves than we are. We watch the Pussycat Dolls on YouTube, then we stand in an inflatable pool filled with chocolate pudding and do our best imitation. We sweep up the trash left behind by the tyrant of capitalism and turn it into our jester's motley.

Lifetimes ago we were child dancers, trained to exacting, unhappy standards. What we really loved was moving, not the perfection and toil. We realized that our bodies are the agents of everything we do, mundane, transcendent, or revolutionary. Now we reorder the world with our whole selves: imperfect bodies, subjective minds and vicious humor.

Laughter opens the sutures that hold us together. Let's not be held together, let's not protect ourselves or slip quietly into entertainment. Let's fall apart at the edges and at the center. Let’s make things more awesome.