We report on cutting edge innovations and explore cross-disciplinary fusion throughout the theater world. Over the last decade or so, many new genres have ridden the wave to become part of theater lingo.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:
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The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in the Hudson Valley is known for its innovative and cross-disciplinary programming. It recently showcased "Illinois," a dance-theater performance based on Sufjan Stevens's album. The center's artistic director, Gideon Lester, fosters experimental projects and collaborations with artists. Despite challenging times for the performing arts, the center continues to thrive, with plans for expansion and grants supporting artistic work. "Illinois" reflects the center's commitment to creativity and artistic exploration.
The favored term for plays constructed from the words of individuals interviewed in reporting on a pivotal events such as the Wyoming murder of Mathew Shepherd and its impact locally and throughout the nation which the Tectonic Theater Company dramatized in its acclaimed The Laramie Project. Or the investigation may focus on a key issue, such as the controversy over the massive real estate development of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards so provocatively brought to the stage by the Civilians‘ In The Footprint. This increasingly popular approach brings a powerful sense of authenticity and immediacy to the dramatizing of historical, political and social topics. Jeffrey Toobin considers the impact and drawbacks of theater journalism.
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Love it or hate it, but there is no denying that Punchdrunk, riding the international success of Sleep No More , has become the world leader in immersive theater. This genre is all about including the audience in the experience-every aspect of the environment is a part of the set and audience members can have one-on-one interactions with the in-character actors. Their latest piece is a collaboration with HBO on a six-part series about a man (played by Jude Law) drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast where he encounters a group of islanders set on preserving their traditions at any cost. Founder and Artistic Director Felix Barrett describes the exciting new opportunity to expand the work of their company.
FROM THE GROUND UP
Chicago-Based experimental theater company The NeoFuturists‘ ensemble works collaboratively, devising performances of striking imagination and visual richness. In their latest, A Story Told in Seven Fights, ensemble member Trevor Dawkins leads a cast of stage combatants in dramatizing the fistfights and theater riots at the turn of the 20th century. We ask A Story Told In Seven Fights Director Tony Santiago about the nature of collaboration when staging a devised piece.