A DIY magic show for stay-at-home moms and anyone else who’s considered escape. 

“A sharp and compact spectacle. What begins as a conjuring of Harry Houdini grows and morphs before our very eyes until we’re entering our own lives and thinking about the ways we all long to escape and astound one another. At the end of a remarkable evening full of ghosts and magic, the most astonishing trick may be the strength of the human connection between Katie and her audience.”

-Kirk Lynn. Playwright, co-artistic director Rude Mechs

Part DIY seance, part historical drag Instructions for a Seance is one woman’s attempt to contact and resurrect the late great escape artist Harry Houdini.  Inspired by the Houdini archives at The Harry Ransom Center Instructions is a compact shiny diamond of a 60 minute performance experience.

“In Instructions for a Seance, through superb character work, Bender channels Harry Houdini and takes the audience on a wild, eerie adventure that leads to deeper questions about the relationship between the archive and performance, what it is to be a feminist artist, and what it means to escape.”

-Anna Gallagher-Ross. Curator Fusebox Festival

A workshop production of Instructions ran for two weekends at The Museum of Human Achievement in East Austin and drew a wide array of audiences including historians, seancers, Houdini enthusiasts, magicians, folks out for a date, kids, spiritualists and lots of pregnant moms. 

Crafted as an intimate seance party, this solo show invited audiences of fifty to the experience of a haunting, a recreation of Houdini’s first escape, and the possibilities of imagining escape together. 

Written & performed by Katie Bender, directed by Hannah Wolf. Photo by Giulio Sciorio. 


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