Faculty, Staff, MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts
Residency Site: Plainfield VT


Jackie Hayes is an interdisciplinary artists rooted in traditions of performance and theories of progressive education. She is of Armenian heritage which is reflected to some degree in all of her work. Hayes has been creating performance and site-specific work with a focus on questions of representation, aesthetics and audience for more than 25 years in Northern California, New York and Minneapolis. She is the founder and director of the Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis and is currently engaged at Goddard College in Vermont. The Swallow Project is the second installation Hayes has produced at Midtown Global Market. She is currently developing a collaborative performance event set for April 2015 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.


PhD in Performance Studies, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
MA in Theater Directing, Humboldt State University
BA in Political Science with a minor in Acting, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Personal Statement

I have been an artist and an arts activist for over twenty years. My artistic communities have been in Northern California, San Francisco, New York and Minneapolis. I am trained as a theater director and theorist and have directed scores of new works with playwrights and performance artists. Early in my career, I began to adapt, write and direct productions that asked questions about the role of language and linear narrative. Under the influence of Jerzy Grotowski, I began to explore the ways in which meaning could be expressed without language. I created two Shakespeare productions in the woods, where performers used only gesture and sounds to communicate.

As an extension of these ideas, I began to incorporate choreography, still images, tableau, and sound compositions in my work. My recent projects have been installation pieces that utilize live performers, animals, and found texts. These pieces ask questions about the construction of memory and history against the backdrop of “lived” events. I created four pieces on this subject over the past several years and used theater spaces and art galleries as venues. My last piece was an installation in a photo gallery. It involved the choreography of sound/speech, film, trees, mice, projected images and lighting. Please see my website for the most current work.

I am the founder and manager of Minneapolis’ Center for Performing Arts, a converted convent where dozens of artists and hundreds of students from different disciplines work, teach, and learn. At the Center, I spent the last 13 years creating a community of artists. As part of my on-going interest in bringing artists together, I also created performance festivals in San Francisco and New York City. I was the co-founding director of the West Coast Women’s Theater Conference in SF and Co-Creator the first Performance Studies International Conference at NYU. I taught at Macalester College and St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN and New College of California in San Francisco. I’ve been a Visiting Scholar at the U of M in the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies.

My academic writing has been on feminist theory, and feminist performance art. I have written about the aesthetics, creative process and politics of women’s group theaters. My other areas of expertise are in experimental theater, history of the avant-garde, and theories of performance.

Website: JackieHayesProjects.com