ashley hollingshead is a theatre maker and performance artist based in Chicago, IL.
Their work mashes-up pop-culture, personal stories, found text, movement, re-purposed songs, and every day events into something that is simultaneously larger than life and close to home. They are most interested in making and creating theatre that explores what it means to be alive RIGHT NOW. ashley is intrigued by the tiny stories of the everyday, as well as the milestones that mark our lives. They use theatre to find connection and to pull us away from our screens. ashley makes theatre to reminded one of what is good in the world and that there is still room for hope. And dancing. There’s always room for dancing.
ashley is half of the queer performance collaborative, CURRENT BIOGRAPHY, with Corey Smith. Together they have made two performances: JUST WANT TO TRY YOU ON (2017) and GETTING TO KNOW YOU (2016). Both were performed at DFBLR8R Gallery in Chicago.
ashley is currently directing under the production title social sciences. Their first project under that name was INDEPENDENT WOMEN, a devised theatrical performance exploring the mash up of women entering the workforce in WWII and Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women pt. 1. ashley is currently developing an experimental musical about Emma Goldman, titled DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION (performance tba).
Recently, Ashley created a triptych of full length devised theatre performances exploring what it means to be alive and young at this point in history. Within the scope of the series, Ashley has focused on where we’ve come from (the peter pan project, 2011), where we currently are (SOMETHING EPIC/EVERYDAY, 2012), and, finally, look at where we are headed with TOMORROW! (2013)
In 2008 ashley moved to Portland to co-founded the Working Theatre Collective with their long time collaborator, Nate Harpel. The WTC was committed to creating artistically aggressive, DIY productions of original work in unexpected spaces. Ashley served as co-artistic director and managing director until the company went on indefinite hiatus in Summer 2012.
For the WTC ashley directed and produced SOMETHING EPIC/EVERYDAY, the peter pan project, Zero Divided by Zero, Blank Not Blank, 20 Erotic Shorts, Medea and Jason: A Love Story that Ends Badly, 26 ways i love you, and A Story that Ends and Begins with a Dream.
While with the WTC ashley designed numerous production elements (props, set, lights, and the occasional costume design) and tackled the administrative end of things.
ashley is currently pursuing their MFA in European Devised Performance Practice at Columbia College Chicago.