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P4M.Online.Video.Festival.DAY07: Proto-type Theater (UK), die urbanauten (Munich, Germany)


Contemporary Performance is hosting an online video festival of performance works and excerpts from 06.14.2010 to 07.02.2010. We’ve curated some of our favorite user submissions and online videos from today’s leading contemporary artists and embeded them here. The videos range in purpose and content and include rehearsal videos, process videos, performance documentation, lectures, made for video, dance on camera, video art, and vj.

DAY 07

Proto-type Theater (UK)
Virtuoso (working title)

The ‘garden’ scene from Virtuoso (working title)
written/directed by Peter S Petralia
performed and devised by Mark Esaias, Gillian Lees and Andrew Westerside
music/sound design by [zygote]
lighting design by Rebecca MK Makus

Visual foley. A television show that doesn’t exist. A spot on the wall.

With Virtuoso (working title), Proto-type Theater expands on the sensual experience of their critically acclaimed Whisper into a world of televisual decadence. Three performers stage the story of a stagnant American suburbia, circa 1963, where the minutiae of everyday life has become strange: glass windows portend violence, a spot on the wall promises freedom, a stranger appears in the living room. Playing games to keep boredom at bay, they switch virtuosically from persona to persona, never content to idly wait for something to happen. Outside, the world seems to be closing in on them as the protective banality of suburbia dissolves – leaving them stranded, and exposed.

The audience witnesses the construction of this strange world on three flat screen monitors, behind which the performers can be seen assembling the backgrounds, costumes and props necessary to crafting a series of perfect images. Building the visual world in front of the audience using live video feeds, the performers also manipulate miniature figurines, houses and scenery in a play on scale that toys with the boundaries of perception. Virtuoso (working title) is a negotiation of the live and the mediated, ruminating on love, home, and perfection.

Proto-type Theater is based in Lancaster, UK and Brooklyn, NY and we make original theater and media work that tours internationally. Our recent piece, Virtuoso (working title) is touring throughout the UK where it has been hailed as “an immensely satisfying piece of culture history” and as “an exhilarating theatrical experience” by Total Theatre. Whisper toured throughout the UK and to PS 122 in New York City where it was acclaimed as “an intriguing brush with altered reality… poetic. And the production flirts with the feel of a supernatural, psychological thriller.” (New York Times). We create touring theatre/live art/media, conduct workshops and summer schools, and run networking events to create a stronger contemporary performance sector in the UK.

die urbanauten (Munich, Germany)
Moment of Starlings

Video of the second swarm happening on November 25th by die urbanauten (Munich) within the SPIELART theatre festival 2009 with the support of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Munich.

Real-time theatrical happenings in real public space, which set the stage for encounters. Selforganized
performative urbanity. Swarm communication in 140 characters. A relay station coordinates the players
in the swarm. There are two channels of communication: mail-to-SMS and an event-specific twitter channel.

Moment of Starlings allows participants to communicate, discuss and distribute ideas via SMS back channel
or hash tag (such as #schwarm1). The swarm is democratic: anyone with a mobile phone or a twitter
account may suggest a location, a time or a choreography for the swarm’s performance – in advance or
in real time. The idea most often sent or “retweeted” is realized; in other words: the most democratically
popular idea prevails.

Absent spectators are not limited to real time twittering; they can watch the motions of the swarm,
which is accompanied by several mobile livestream cameras. Intervention and participation is possible
from a couch in Tokyo just as easily as from a mobile phone in the swarm. Communication sans frontières.
Genres with fuzzy borders. A communication cloud surrounds the project.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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