Shadow Tender explores ways in which we construct, project, and transmute the monstrous within ourselves and society. Using immersive performance, curated dialogue, and interactive workshops, our goal is twofold:

To interrupt the narrative of everyday reality with spectacle, fantasy, and technology, and allow people to transform their relationships with what they may fear or demonize.

To develop and share tools that help people discover and celebrate untapped potential in their full being, to integrate conflicting aspects within themselves, and to ultimately feel more secure and empowered to connect with others.

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Ultimately, Shadow Tender aims to look beyond the ego's defenses to ask: Who is the monster, here? How do we create the monstrous? How does it create us?

And most importantly: what lies beyond the fear?

Carl Jung described the Shadow as the part of the psyche in which we store aspects of ourselves that we’d rather not acknowledge – things that make us feel ashamed, frightened, weak, or powerless. In rejecting our own Shadows, we unconsciously project them onto others, creating monsters and enemies that are more revealing of our own darkness than anything else.

At its core, Shadow Tender is our response to the growing trend of dehumanization and demonization across many spheres - political, social, and environmental. This profound desire to create an “other” - to create an enemy on which to project all of one’s hatred - extends beyond the containers of culture, language, or geography. On a macro level, this becomes radical nationalism...on a much more intimate, individual level, it is an ongoing battle with personal shame, fear, anger, and vulnerability.

Lead by a vibrant interdisciplinary creative team, Shadow Tender draws on research across diverse fields - from medieval alchemy to contemporary neuroscience - as well as a wide range of movement disciplines including ballet, butoh, modern dance, martial arts, among others. Extending, distorting, and manipulating the body through costume & wearable sculpture; destabilizing identity and sense of self through masks and prosthetics; externalizing secret signals through biofeedback technology and physical performance, we aim to create psychological containers within which the audience may encounter their own Shadows with compassion, curiosity, and grace.


Rooted in previous collaborations in experimental and site-specific theater as well as ongoing research into trauma resilience through neuroscience and somatics, the initial concepts for Shadow Tender have been in development since 2010.

The project was initially workshopped in the Siskiyou Forest in fall of 2016, and entered the first stage development in the spring of 2017 as a work-in-residence at the Headwaters Theatre in Portland, OR. A crowdfunding campaign supported the creation of a working version of Shadow Tender that premiered in July 2017 at World Stage Design at the Taipei National University for the Arts.

As of 2018, Shadow Tender is entering the second stage of development in Portland, OR and New York City as a series of workshops, curated dialogues, video projects, and live performances. We are deeply grateful for the support of the Regional Arts and Culture Council for making the next stage of this work possible.


Shadow Tender would not be possible without the generous support of our our incredible communities, crowdfunding donors, and sponsors. We extend an extra special thank you to the following individuals & organizations for their ongoing contributions and enthusiasm for this work:

Robert Randolph III
Rubin Naimen
Sara Cooper
Michael Ackerman
Joey Adrian
Mika Aono Boyd
Jamie Avins
Andy Blank
Tanya Burr
Jennifer Coughlan
Alex Embrey
Jessica Fishell
Greg Follender
Suzi Grishpul
Stephanie Haakenson
Bettina Hansen

Sarah Zakula

Aleksandra Kolosowsky
Anoakie Turner
Aurelia Cohen
Autumn Tsu
Boris Glebov
Emily Mann
Esther Weng
Jacob Levernier
Jiin Ahn
John Kohlsaat
Kent & Lupe Thomas
Kim Anderson
Laura Hawkins & Josh Howle
Mike Mackrory
Mizu Desierto
Natalya Terekhova

Richard McConochie

Megan Harris
Barry M. Hatchel
Laura Hines
Helen Horigan
Lexy Ho-Tai
Kathryn Iurino

Colin Ives
Carol Jones
Klimka Kasraie
Sarah Monks
Ruben Palma
Gazelle Samizay
Joanna Schmit
JoJo Seames
Jesse Steele
Mikhail Voroniouk
Marianna Zapalova