words spelled out by lights in a large black studio: furniture, clothes. in tu es.

Only Breath, Words

Anna Craycroft

Only Breath, Words is a theatrical production about language, identity, and intimacy by Anna Craycroft that has been in development at EMPAC since 2018 and will premiere in September 2022. 

Only Breath, Words is a performance without actors in which the voice is delivered by the theater itself, as its HVAC system “exhales” through flue pipe sculptures created by Craycroft. These instruments create hums, murmurs, and moans while words and fragments of phrases flash  and glow on grids of lights that move across the stage.

Following an extensive period of experimentation, fabrication, and staging, Craycroft invited composer Sarah Hennies to work with the instruments in order to produce a score for the premiere of the work. 

Only Breath, Words is conceived as a performance-installation that activates and extends the specific architectural infrastructure of a theater or gallery. It continues Craycroft’s ongoing dramaturgical approach to interdisciplinary collaboration. Through the development of sculptural installations and protocols for research and participation, Craycroft's work engages with and supports works by other artists, composers, writers, and performers. 

Main Image: Anna Craycroft working in residence on Only Breath Words in the Theater in 2019. Photo: EMPAC/Mick Bello.


Anna Craycroft, Work-in-Progress: Only Breath, Words, 2022. 

Presented By

EMPAC 2018–22



September 2022