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THE DOPE ELF FILMS are six short films by Gawdafful National Theater made from December 2020-March 2021 during the global pandemic. The company have spent the last ten years working together on theatrical installation-performances tipped toward issues of American power and violence. 

These films are messages in a bottle from their halted touring production The Dope Elf, a collection of six plays about molecular white supremacy and patriarchy evidenced in the minutiae of daily life. Hartman rewrote his six plays for these short films, shot largely by the actors themselves with a little help through the windows of their homes. Borrowing from the psychiatric documentary wherein doctor (the director) interviews the patient (the actor), these films peer into the psyches of beings who are both human and non-human, violent and banal, creatures drawn from an American fascination with European myth and magic, whose love of violence and self-harm remain at the core of their shifting identities.

Asher Hartman is a transgender writer, director, and maker of live performances. His live works, which combine strategies of theater and performance art, grapple with social and political issues in an era of chronic crisis. His dense visual, poetic embodied texts are infused with clown and cringe humor, evidence of trance and psychic journeying, and set in engulfing installations designed to disorient, unnerve, and elicit strong feeling. www.gawdaffulnationaltheater.company / IG: @chickentasteslikewood

  • Year
  • Runtime
    26 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Asher Hartman
  • Cast
    Gawdafful National Theater