Violence & Joy

Violence and Joy, led by multidisciplinary performing artist Patrick Barnes, presents “The Lost in the Woods Project,” an evening-length movement-theater production that brings performance to abandoned people in abandoned places. Violence and Joy merges storytelling, circus, sideshow, spectacle, modern dance, and butoh to make shows based on first-hand experience with housing insecurity, suicide, substance abuse, addiction, poverty, and hopelessness. 


“Lost in the Woods” will premiere in early 2023 in Oakland CA. This project is being developed through a series of site-specific work-in-progress showings at abandoned stretches of train tracks, underpasses, and scrap yards.

Drawing on Patrick’s diverse performance background, “Lost in the Woods” merges the narrative structure of classic fairy tale storytelling, the technical rigor of classical ballet and contemporary dance, the intense visual metaphors of butoh, and the raw vulnerable spectacle of hook suspension.

The piece, and the way that it is presented, will both challenge and care for an audience by creating a space to say the quiet things out loud. 



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