Preview of

“Performance Con: Take One”

with Tess Dworman and Mel Elberg

Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 | 6 PM


Members: Free, RSVP required

Non-Members: $10


Performer Tess Dworman creates movement-based work using the tools of improvisation. Mel Elberg is a poet working in video, and frequently collaborates with artists of all mediums. These days, Dworman is intrigued by the inherently performative nature of conventions, like Comic Con or Santa Con– environments where people of mutual interests in niche cultures come together to play, imagine, and perform for each other or together. It’s a paradigm that speaks to the dynamics of performance at its most basic level, questioning the roles of viewer, performer, and context: the relationships between the spectator and the spectacle. Elberg is interested in word-maps, the spontaneous legibility of poetry, and how writing constraints can lend themselves to performative scores.


Dworman and Elberg are coming to The Church to explore and make new performance work that considers notions of theater, performative relations, etymology, and improvisation. Theatrical monologues, dialogues, improvisational scores, translation, and profound naivete will drive the collaborators’ process as they explore a range of intimacies and relations in the culture of live performance.



Tess Dworman is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer, and audio describer. In New York, her choreographic work has been presented at Abrons Arts Center, Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, New York Live Arts, Performance Space New York, and the Chocolate Factory Theater, among others. In 2020, Tess was honored as an “Outstanding Breakout Choreographer” by the Bessies New York Dance & Performance Awards.

Tess Dworman (Photo by Amelia Golden)



Mel Elberg is a poet and a collaborator.  She has poems published in The Brooklyn Rail, Bathhouse, The Recluse, the chapbook ROT/RED, and elsewhere.  With the amorphous collective Flowers In The Basement, she makes experimental feminist video and performance works.  Her first full-length book, THE KISSER, is forthcoming.

Mel Elberg (Photo by Mel Elberg)


(view the events calendar here) The Church was established in 2019 by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th-century church, its doors were opened in April 2021. Our mission is to foster creativity and to honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. The East End represents an exceptional artistic legacy, spanning the practices of Indigenous art of several centuries ago, Abstract Expressionists of the mid-20th Century, and the many celebrated writers, makers, musicians, and visual artists of the recent past and current moment. Core programming includes visual art exhibitions, concerts and events, educational programming, workshops, lectures, and an artist’s residency.


The Church

48 Madison Street

Sag Harbor, NY 11963



AAQ / Resource: Sotheby’s International Realty