Jeff McMahon


Roping together political/sexual violation with moments of redemption and epiphany, this solo leaps from fascist apologists to terrorists to pedophiles grooming their victims "in the wee small hours of the morning."


Using text, movement, and imagery, HEEL marches through the collateral damage of September 11, 2001, examining both the attack and the culture of closure and forgetting.


Debased and aggressive contemporary language and attitudes, with unexpected leaps into elevated speech and longing vulnerability examines the desires of young Americans.

Born in Los Angeles and reared in suburban Southern California. Two years at Reed College, followed by intensive study of dance and experimental theatre in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York, where he lived from 1980-2000. Completed BA in Interdisciplinary Theatre at Empire State College/SUNY and MFA in Creative Writing/Nonfiction from School of the Arts, Columbia University.

Received eight Choreography Fellowships and two Project Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Choreography Fellowship from the NY Foundation for the Arts, funding from the NY State Council on the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and a fellowship from the Monette/Horwitz Trust. Essays published in Culture Wars (New Press), Poor Dancer's Almanac (Duke Univ. Press), TDR/The Drama Review, Contact Quarterly, PAJ/Performing Arts Journal, City Limits, Teaching Tolerance, The Threepenny Review, Movement Research, and The New England Review. Scripts published in Performing the Here and Now: an Introduction to Contemporary Theater and Performance Ed. Chris Danowski (Kendall-Hunt 2005).

Solo and group work presented since 1980 at Performance Space 122, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop (now NYLA), Jacob's Pillow, and many other venues in U.S. and Europe.

In 2001, became Resident Artist at Arizona State Univ. In 2005 appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre and Film, and in 2011 Associate Professor. At ASU premiered multi-media works, HEEL and A Certain Release, receiving a NY State Council on the Arts Playwrighting Commission. Honorable Discharge at Dixon Place (NYC) and Performance Studies Int. Failure To Thrive (we small hours) was presented at the Hemispheric Inst. for Performance and Politics (Buenos Aires), Dixon Place (NYC '07), and Highways (Santa Monica). Special Operations received a staged reading at Son of Semele Ensemble in Los Angeles in 2008. With media designer Jacob Pinholster, created the performance installation Counter-Indications, examining coercive interrogation. Writing fellow at the Edward F. Albee Foundation in Montauk, NY. Straight Talk presented as a work-in-progress at Dixon Place in NYC in Summer 2010. October 2011 resident writer at the Fundación Valparaíso in Mojácar, Spain.