Darren O'Donnell: MDR Artistic and Research Director


Sharp Building, Leroy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 4:15–5:45 p.m.

MDR (Mammalian Diving Reflex) is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere. Using the creative methodology of "social acupuncture," MDR generates playful, provocative work in a multitude of forms, including site and social-specific participatory performances with non-actors of all ages and demographics. Over the next twelve years, MDR will artistically mentor a collective of neighborhood kids. The final goal: "Hand the kids control of the company in 2025, when they are heading into their 30's, and we have no real teeth."

Darren O'Donnell is a novelist, essayist, playwright, director, designer and performer. His books include: Social Acupuncture (2006), which argues for aesthetics of civic engagement and Your Secrets Sleep with Me (2004), a novel about difference, love and the miraculous. His stage-based works include White Mice (1998), [boxhead] (2000), and All the Sex I've Ever Had (2012), all produced by Mammalian. In addition to his artistic practice, he is currently an M.Sc. candidate in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto. He is working on his sophomore novel (and experiencing the 2nd novel syndrome) and a book about working with children (and experiencing the 2nd nonfiction book syndrome).