In Ghost Ship Rodez Terry Allen pursues a fictional investigation of what may have happened in the mind of French artist, playwright and actor Antonin Artaud during a 17-day journey restrained in the dark hold of the freighter Washington in 1937, and later, in various mental institutions. While living in France, Artaud had obtained a walking stick that he considered was the staff of Jesus Christ handed down to St. George. In 1937, Artaud journeyed to Ireland to return the staff to its country of origin. However, while there, he experienced a series of extreme mental and emotional crises that culminated in a violent altercation with Dublin police. Artaud's subsequent deportation to France was a grueling journey, which he spent straitjacketed and chained to a metal cot in the bowels of the ship.
The live theater piece from which this radio play was adapted, was originally commissioned by and developed at Les Subsistance Artist Atellier Laboratories, Lyon, France and performed there as a work-in- progress, June 2006, at Festival Les Intranquilles. It was further developed and performed at MassMoca, North Adams, MA, Feb. 2008. The completed work premiered at the Lensic Theater of the Performing Arts, Santa Fe, NM, April 2010 in conjunction with Terry Allen's exhibition Ghost Ship Rodez (The Momo Chronicles) at Site Santa Fe, Feb-May, 2010.