Best Performance Artist: Naoko Maeshiba

“Performance artist” is an elastic term, but it might still be too restricting to accurately describe Naoko Maeshiba. With her latest full-length show in Baltimore, an intoxicating solo performance titled “Subject/Object” held at the Baltimore Theatre Project, Maeshiba added comedy and vocal manipulation to her vast repertoire—though her performances aren’t really about her many talents. They’re not even really about the final product. Maeshiba’s work doesn’t exist merely in the 90 or so minutes she performs before an audience; it extends from her creative process to the lingering impact on the audience members. It’s about where all those things go, where they touch moments in collective and personal memory, where they gesture toward the future, and everywhere in between.

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