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Featured: Drodesera Festival Supercontinent, The 5th LIVE WORKS Performance Act Award (Dro, Italy)

DRODESERA is a contemporary art festival currently at its 37th edition This year is taks place from 21st to 29th July at Centrale Fies, Dro (Trento), which has been hosting the festival exclusively for last 17 years. The Art Work Space has opened its doors onto its artistic production, pursuing and fomenting its nature of multiform reality and its mission of presenting artistic and cultural biodiversity. SUPERCONTINENT is the title chosen for this year’s edition, for a modern Pangaea sewn back together by new technologies and migratory routes, in symbiosis with a constantly mutating land. Tradition and innovation intertwine together in order to generate a balance based upon diversities. The 5th LIVE WORKS Performance Act Award will launch the Festival this year, with its new productions in...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 2. Third Rail (NYC)

2. Third Rail (NYC) thirdrailprojects.com “Hailed as one of the foremost companies creating site-specific, immersive and experiential dance and theater, Third Rail Projects, led by Artistic Directors Zach Morris, Tom Pearson, and Jennine Willett, is dedicated to re-envisioning ways in which audiences engage with contemporary performance. They have made work in New York, nationally, and abroad since 2000. Their currently running, award-winning immersive hit Then She Fell, was named as one of the “Top Ten Shows of the 2012” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times, and acclaimed as one of the best theater experiences of 2013 by Vogue. In 2016, the company premiered four major works, all of which were met with massive critical and audience recognition: As Time Goes By in St. Petersburg, Ru...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover

Immersive theater has been proliferating throughout the contemporary performance and theater fields in the last 10 years. Discover 10 immersive theater companies working today. 1. PunchDrunk (London/NYC) www.punchdrunk.com “Since 2000, Punchdrunk has pioneered a game changing form of theatre in which roaming audiences experience epic storytelling inside sensory theatrical worlds. Blending classic texts, physical performance, award-winning design installation and unexpected sites, the company’s infectious format rejects the passive obedience usually expected of audiences. Punchdrunk has developed a phenomenal reputation for transformative productions that focus as much on the audience and the performance space as on the performers and narrative. Inspired designers occupy deserte...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 3. dreamthinkspeak (London)

3. dreamthinkspeak (London) www.dreamthinkspeak.com “dreamthinkspeak creates and produces the work of Tristan Sharps and is internationally recognised as a pioneering creator of site-responsive performance. Its work interweaves live performance with film and installations to create extraordinary journeys that are ambitious in scale, visually layered and popular with audiences wherever they are performed. Since its formation in 1999, the company has played a key role in the evolution of site-responsive work in the UK and beyond. The company is committed to developing the artistic ambition of these pioneering creations, and expanding the scope and number of audiences upon whom the work has such a transformative impact. The company is based in Brighton and, with a small core team, dream...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 4. Fruit for the Apocalypse (London)

4. Fruit for the Apocalypse (London) www.fruit-for-the-apocalypse.eu “Fruit for the Apocalypse create and present new audio-kinetic adventures in Opera, Ballet and Composition working with emerging artists and forging new collaborations in a site-responsive context. We are a diverse collective of artists and producers who make experimental work. Our name comes from a tin of peaches – our adopted symbol of an eternity of ephemeral potential, locked within a cautious, nihilistic and consumer packaged society. We like to think of ourselves as romantic tin-openers – working to free the fruit from the redundant cold war stockpile. We collaborate with many different people – our main aim is to make and do rather than wait and do nothing. One of our productions, The Surrea...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 5. Wilderness (Los Angeles)

5. Wilderness (Los Angeles) thisisthewilderness.com “Wilderness works internationally to push the envelope of the traditional theatre-going experience. Inspired by disused, unexplored and uninhabited spaces, we create immersive, experiential and interdisciplinary theatrical events that disrupt the boundaries between observer and observed. We offer intimate live experiences in a variety of traditional and non-traditional spaces, which have hitherto included a disused engine shop in Los Angeles, the former BBC executive offices in London, the Bush Theatre attic in London, the proscenium stage at the Getty Villa, and the backstage fly loft at the San Francisco Playhouse. Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Annie Saunders, the award-winning company has been described as “a company of th...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 6. Speakeasy Dollhouse (NYC)

6. Speakeasy Dollhouse (NYC) speakeasydollhouse.com “Speakeasy Dollhouse is a time capsule transporting audiences to the scene of a riveting crime and then inviting them to live fully in that world, erasing the boundary between themselves and the performers. The plays are interactive, non-fictional investigative stories inside sensory theatrical worlds. The Speakeasy Dollhouse experience begins with a series of emails featuring actual news articles, investigative dollhouse recreations and a password for entry through a secret door where guests are given a role to play. Cynthia von Buhler, a visual artist and author, is the creator of the Speakeasy Dollhouse series.” – Speakeasy Dollhouse website  

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 7. We Players (San Francisco)

7. We Players (San Francisco) www.weplayers.org “We Players presents site-integrated performance events that transform public spaces into realms of participatory theater. We bring communities together, reclaiming local spaces for public discourse and civic celebration through art. Extending the transformative powers of performance beyond the stage, we invite our collaborators and audience to engage fully and awaken to the spectacular world around us.” – We Players website  

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 8. Coney (London)

8. Coney (London) http://coneyhq.org/ “Coney are interactive theatre-makers. We create games, adventures and play where people can choose to take a meaningful part. Our work takes place anywhere that people gather: in theatres, schools, museums, on the streets and online and always follows the principles of adventure, curiosity and loveliness. The experience starts when you first hear about it, and only ends when you stop thinking and talking about it. We make play with ideas that resonate in the world around us: from the everyday to the extraordinary. Our work is inspired by the belief that the world can be magical place where ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Collaboration and dialogue are at the heart of how we make work: with audiences, peers, partners, and a network o...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 9. Pearl Damour (NYC/New Orleans)

9. Pearl Damour (NYC/New Orleans) pearldamour.com “We are an Obie-Award winning collaborative team who create performance both inside and outside traditional theater spaces.   We are known for large-scale performances that mix theater and installation — such as How to Build a Forest, an 8-hour performance in which we assemble and disassemble a simulated forest on an empty stage over 8 hours – and intimate performances designed for small audiences — such as Bird Eye Blue Print, created for a set of small vacant offices in the World Financial Center in Manhattan.  Over our 15-year history of making work together, we have devised a body of work that is attentive to the performer / audience relationship, and searches for new approaches to narrative through the accumulation of text, image...

10 Immersive Theater Companies To Discover – 10 Difference Engine (London)

10. Difference Engine (London) differencengine.co.uk “differencEngine are an Off West End nominated company specialising in immersive & interactive theatre. The company was co-founded by Jon Cooper & Andrew Somerville in 2014. Their debut show HEIST was initially meant to run for three weeks, it ran for nine months & sold out in minutes, astounding audiences & partners alike. HEIST saw audiences breaking into a building, interacting through headsets & cameras and attempting to steal a painting without being caught.” – Difference Engine website  

Interview with Jen Rosenblit: Performing Process and Problematics

Jen Rosenblit has been making performance in New York City since 2005. Her Bessie Award-winning work questions intimacy inside of problematic spaces, uniting choreographies, text, and design towards philosophical quandaries. Her work has been commissioned by The Kitchen, New York Live Arts, Danspace, and others, and she has been a resident artist with Movement Research, LMCC, and others. Clap Hands was recently presented at the 2017 American Realness Festival at Abrons Arts Center, and Jen and I sat down after the closing performance to discuss the piece. The following is an excerpt of our conversation. — Sara Lyons: Tell me about the development of Clap Hands. What were your initial questions? Jen Rosenblit: Early on I was reading a lot of [Lauren] Berlant, and she said: “The reorga...