Patrick Scully
Affiliated Writer
Minneapolis, MN

Patrick Scully is a Minneapolis based theater/dance artist, playwright, and choreographer. Scully's most current project is Leaves of Grass—Illuminated, about Walt Whitman. The show has premiered in New York City and Minneapolis. He has twice received a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to tour this show to 24 Minnesota communities in 2017-18 and again in 2018-19.

Scully is well known for work ranging from large scale group works to solo work. His largest works include: a Ballet for Boats for fifty boats, done to great critical acclaim in both Minneaplis (2015) and Potsdam, Germany (2010). His highly acclaimed solo works, more intimate and often autobiographical, have included works ranging from Too Soon Lost (1990) to Thrive! (2010).

Leaves of Grass—Illuminated began as a large-scale work for two actors and 18 male dancers in 2014. It has been honed into this current one-man show.

Scully began dancing in 1972 as a college freshman at the University of Minnesota. In 1976 he co-founded Contactworks, a Minneapolis based dance collective focused on contact improvisation. In 1980 he left Contactworks to explore broader horizons. That led him to dance with Remy Charlip, beginning with Remy's Ten Men show in the Brooklyn Academy of  Music's Next Wave Festival in 1984. Dancing for Charlip, Scully toured to Boston, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, New York, and Berkeley, CA. Eventually he returned to Minneapolis, focusing on the creation of his own work and developing Patrick's Cabaret.

Peforming his own work, Scully has toured internationally to Berlin, Cologne, and Potsdam, Germany; Torino, Italy; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Winnipeg, Canada; Brussels, Belgium; Rio de Janiero, Brazil; and nationally to Cedar Rapids; Chicago; Cleveland; Houston; Los Angeles; Missoula; New York, Northampton, MA; Oakland; San Antonio; San Francisco; Vermillion, AD; and Washington DC.

Scully has received numerous awards as an artist, including: McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowships, 2015, 1996, 1994, 1990, 1983, 1982; Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist Grants, 2014, 1979; Sage Award, 2010; Special Citation for lifetime contributions to dance in Minnesota; Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellowship, 1996; Sally Award, 1995; Vision in the Arts in the Twin Cities; Minnesota Composers' Forum commission, 1990. In addition to his performing work, Patrick was the founder and long time director of Patrick's Cabaret in Minneapolis.

More complete information is available at

Patrick Scully's Theatrical Creations (partial list)

2014, 75 minutes—Leaves of Grass—Illuminated, theater

2010, 75 minutes—Thrive!, solo theater/performance art

2003, 75 minutes—Making Lemonade, solo theater piece directed by Djola Branner

2001, 75 minutes—The Naked Truth, solo theater piece

1999, 70 minutes—I Left the Space Bare, solo dance theater improvisation

1998, 10 minutes—Losing my Foundations, live performance art/installation

1997, 5 minutes—Faith, Hope, and Ambivalence, video performance art

1997, 60 minutes—Nebel & Neblina, performance art/installation with Ric Oquita

1995, 75 minutes—Forever Hold Your Piece, performance art with Djola Branner

1995, 70 minutes—Unsafe, Unsuited, dance theater improvisation with Keith Hennessy and Ishmael Houston Jones

1992, 75 minutes—Queer Thinking

1992, 75 minutes—Queer Thinking, solo performance art monologue

1991, 75 minutes—Illuminations, solo improvisation/performance art

1990, 45 minutes—Performance of Ritual with Northwoods Radial Faeries 11 person dance/performance art

1990-1999—Improve #__, numerous improvised duets with Chris Aiken

1990, 9 minutes—Too Soon Lost, monologue with film

1987, 60 minutes—Survival Symptoms, performance art with David Lindahl

1985, 16 minutes—Death of Romance, solo performance art

1985, 15 minutes—Warsaw II, performance art with Poonie Dodson

1983, 60 minutes—Nobody Gets Pregnant, dance theater improvisation with Erika Thorne

1982, 15 minutes—Shinder's to Shinders', dance/film-documentary

1979, 45 minutes—Losers, performance art for 12 performers

1976-1980, 5 minutes—Contactworks, Dance Company collective member