Work Around the World
Work Around the World
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• The creative process for devising immersive and experimental performances
• Methods for exploring and creating performances in unusual sites and spaces
• Crafting the audience experience without a fourth wall
• Directing skills for immersive theater
• Performance skills for immersive formats
Third Rail Projects and the Global Performance Studio in collaboration with China Dream Live Entertainment (CDE Live) present a comprehensive Immersive Theater Workshop led by Co-Artistic Directors Tom Pearson and Jennine Willett. This four-day intensive workshop is geared towards experienced artists, theater directors, choreographers, and performers interested in working in the medium of immersive, site-specific, and experiential performance. The curriculum explores methods for creating, directing, and performing in these non-traditional theater formats and ways of crafting meaningful, resonant, and engaging audience experiences.
Participants will have a hands-on and active involvement in the workshop, where they will work together in a collaborative environment that fosters experimentation and discourse.
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.
Most recently, the company premiered Ghost Light, an immersive “performance about performance,” in and around the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center Theater. 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, Russia, Sweet & Lucky with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Learning Curve with Albany Park Theater Project in Chicago, and The Grand Paradise, in Brooklyn.
Third Rail Projects has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including two New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards for Then She Fell (2013) and Vanishing Point (2008), and a Chita Rivera award for Outstanding Choreography in an Off-Broadway show for Ghost Light. The artistic directors were recently named among the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn Culture by Brooklyn Magazine.
Fundamental to Third Rail Projects is the notion of re-imagining contexts for presenting contemporary work. Collaboration is integral to all of Third Rail Projects’ endeavors, both in the creative process as well as the intersection with each new site, community, and cultural landscape in which they work.
Tom Pearson is a Bessie award-winning director and choreographer working in a variety of media that includes interactive and immersive theater, contemporary dance, site-speciﬁc performance, ﬁlm, visual art, and large- scale art installations. He is Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects and helms the international programs for the company as the Director of the Global Performance Studio (GPS.) The Global Performance Studio has worked with artist populations in a variety of international communities to develop innovative site-speciﬁc and immersive works and to share creative methods.
Tom has taught domestically and abroad for more than 20 years: as adjunct faculty for Florida State University and the Florida School of the Arts and through workshops, lectures and panels with Actor’s Theater of Louisville, New York City Opera, American Dance Festival, Town Hall, The LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, Swarthmore College, New York University, the Public Theater, Columbia, and internationally with MindPark in Shenzhen, CEC Artslink in Russia and Central Asia, and with the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, among others.
Tom received his MA in Performance Studies from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and his BA in Literature and BFA in Dance from Florida State University.
Jennine Willett is a Bessie-Award winning choreographer, director, performer, writer, and educator and is Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects. At the helm of the company’s education initiatives and curriculum, she teaches workshops, master classes, and residencies that share the creative methods and skills that come into play when devising, directing and performing in both traditional and non-traditional formats. Her courses attract artists of all ages and disciplines and she creates a learning environment that encourages dialogue, experimentation and collaboration. She also advises and consults for academic institutions and producers to help them realize their performance visions and discover the right medium for the message.
Jennine has served as a Visiting Artist at Princeton University and as an adjunct faculty member at Swarthmore College and Florida State University. She has offered workshops, courses, and lectures for numerous academic institutions and arts organizations, such as Columbia Teachers’ College, Rutgers University, Lincoln Center, Hunter College, The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts, Materials for the Arts, and Gibney Dance. She received her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University.
Founded in 2016, China Dream Live Entertainment Ltd. Co. (CDE Live) is a subsidiary of CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings. CMC Holdings is a leading investment and operating platform in media and entertainment industries, with a broad industrial layout covering content, platform, technology, service and other niche segments.
CDE Live has two main business lines: to produce and present the world’s greatest live entertainment content, and to manage professional theatres in China. Led by one of the first Chinese theatre producers, Miss Tian Yuan, CDE Live aims to be China’s premier live theatre organization.
CDE Live’s leadership team has brought original tours of classical musicals to China, such as Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Mamma Mia!, and produced Chinese versions of Cats and Mamma Mia!. In 2017, CDE Live has successfully produced Chinese versions of Tony-Award winner A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Off-Broadway hits Little Shop of Horrors, and Murder Ballad.
CDE Live’s mission is to lead the development of live entertainment in China by providing high-quality content, fostering local talents, operating world-class theatres, and encouraging international creative exchanges.
1..Please fill out the Online Application here: https://jinshuju.net/f/OqK1YO
2.Please also send the following to the e-mail address: email@example.com. Put “Immersive Theater Workshop Application (Your Name)” in the subject line:
Application Deadline: June 20, 2018
Selected candidates may be contacted for an in-person interview in Shanghai or phone interview.
"The future of performance is in the ability to mix a good and original story with exceptional experience design, putting the audience at the center of the work. Future creativity involves everyone, through intimate offerings that allow audience their own agency to maneuver through the work and explore the worlds created for them. It also fosters empathy by considering each individual through meticulously curated and unique interactions, sets and ephemera, and an engagement of all the senses. Immersive and experiential performance places its audience in the position of hero or protagonist, making the experience and narrative for and about them." – Tom Pearson
From MindPark: The conference theme of this year is Future City. We will attempt to reflect on the laws and trends from individuals to the environment, growth to consumption and brand to industry together with creative people, designers and managers all over the world through forums and urban practice projects to establish a practical model of the future city and explore the construction insight of both China and the world's future city.
In the process of rapid urbanization in China, more and more challenges and opportunities are at hand. As we discuss the creativity-driven changes in consumption, industrial and cultural upgrade, we should realize that it is never a simple issue that single factor change can lead to a qualitative change in the industry. Each element constituting urban structure: education, consumption, manufacturing, space, culture and policy interact with each other. To understand the law, we attempt to put the best creative thinking in the world into the necessary parts of urban development, observe and obtain the phenomena and opportunities inspired by it: the upgrade of supply and demand, the awakening of cultural awareness, the update of urban form, etc. These changes provide the raw materials and kinetic energy for the construction of the future city, which inevitably contains unlimited business opportunities.
Global Performance Studio Director Tom Pearson and Marissa Nielsen-Pincus (Associate Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects) are the recipients of Back Apartment Residency Fellowships from CEC Artslink to collaborate with local Russian artists in Saint Petersburg, Russia in August and September, and the Global Performance Studio is again in St. Petersburg to create and showcase new work in the 2018 Art Prospect Festival.
Directed by Tom Pearson
Libraría is a project that pops up around the world, one that maps the geographical location and colloquial unconscious through the dreams of local participants. Each “branch” of the library consists of a blend of digital and analog experiences, stories given by Dreammaker in sleep, and assembled through art installation, film, poetry, performance, and an overall experience design that allows audiences to engage directly with the artwork. Libraría will have its premiere with the Art Prospect Festival.
Libraría in Saint Petersburg will feature a wall that displays a series of photo dream images which forms an abstract design along the length of the wall. Each photo is a portal, a dynamic link using hyperphoto augmented reality technology which can be viewed on smart phones via the free Lifeprint app. When a visitor opens the app and places their phone over the photo, each photo becomes a moving image.
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Tom Pearson, Marissa Nielsen-Pincus, Renata Zhigulina, Anastasia Nesterova, Daria Karpova, and Max Mityashin.
Fellowships for Tom Pearson and Marissa Nielsen-Pincus in Saint Petersburg, Russia are made possible by CEC ArtsLink Back Apartment Residency Program. The premier of Libraría is presented by CEC ArtsLink's Art Prospect Festival. Rehearsal studio space has been generously provided by the New Stage Aleksandrinsky Theatre, and the presentation on Immersive Theater and Experience Design is arranged by Show Consulting School. Libraría is also made possible by Third Rail Projects through individual donor support.
Third Rail Projects International, with CEC Artslink, presents the first official project of the Global Performance Studio , March 6-30, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Russia with workshops, discussions, and performances in site-specific & immersive theater.
The residency in St. Petersburg is provided by Arts Link Back Apartment Residencies for artists and curators.
The project is led by Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director Tom Pearson and company member Joshua Reaver (New York), with Project Coordinator Yulia Bylenok (St. Petersburg), collaborator Renata Zhigulina (Russia & U.S.), and Local artists in St. Petersburg.
As Time Goes By will be the inaugural project for Third Rail International and the Global Performance Studio. Building upon previous models developed by Third Rail and through recent engagements with CEC Artslink, the Global Performance Studio creates an opportunity for cultural listening and sharing. For one-month, U.S. and Russian-based artists meet in St. Petersburg to share methodologies and practices for devising movement-based theater within site-specific and immersive formats.
Collaborators will create a new work for the Ziferburg (a time cafe), and will offer audiences an invitation into experiential encounters with performers and situations that unfold throughout the staircases, rooms and hallways. As action occurs throughout the space, a fragmented narrative emerges through repetition, duration and simultaneity, about our relationship to passing time and what it costs us. Audiences will pay by the minute, and will be asked to make their own choices about how much time to spend, and where and how to spend it.
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Tom Pearson, Joshua Reaver, Renata Zhigulina, Yulia Rodina, Anastasiya Rebkalo, Mayya Popova, Andrey Adamovsky, Ruslan Rychagov, Marina Shamova, Yulia Bylenok, Elena Gradkovskaya, Ekaterina Novikova, Anna Gorchanuk, Meiko's Starlight Orchestra, Bina Maracchini, Natalya Nikolaeva.
March 15, 2016 | 7:00pm: Presentation and discussion about the creation of site-specific and immersive performance through international collaborations and the partnership between Third Rail International's Global Performance Studio and CEC Artslink's Global Art Lab. http://ethnomuseum.ru/vechera-po-vtornikam
March 25-26, 2016 | 8:00pm: Performances of "As Time Goes By" created by workshop participants (USA/Russia)
March 27, 2016 | 9:00pm: Final late night performance of "As Time Goes By" created by workshop participants (USA/Russia) in celebration of International Theater Day.
Performances are free and open to the public. Location info at: http://ziferburg.ziferblat.net/en/
Third Rail International's Global Performance Studio workshops, performances, and discussions are supported by Third Rail Projects in conjunction with CEC Artslink's pilot group of international artists and curators in residency in St. Petersburg, a new program which fosters collaboration with local artists. Learn more about CEC Artslink’s programs.
The Art Prospect Festival, CEC Artslink Global Art Lab‘s International Festival of Public Art presented Recess by Third Rail Projects and local performance artists in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 23-30, 2014.
Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director Tom Pearson & Associate Artistic Director Marissa Nielsen-Pincus collaborated with 15 local Russian and international artists from St. Petersburg to create a new site-specific, movement-based public performance for the Art Prospect Festival 2014, curated by Kendal Henry. The resulting 20-minute site-specific work, Recess, was performed on September 27 & 28 at 2:00pm and 4:00pm. The work, which unfolded as a promenade between three distinct playgrounds, explored the notion of adults in a child’s world, where play is serious business, and architecture meant only for certain types of activity were re-purposed, subverted and challenged. The piece moved from a place of comical, regimented, utilitarian behavior into a place of dreamy quietude, and finally exploded with a burst of whirlwind activity.
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Participating artists and collaborators included: Anastasiya Rebkalo, Yulia Potapenko, Anna Pestereva, Valentina Lutsenko, Yulia Voronovskaya, Dar’ya Karpova, Elena Matveeva, Renata Zhigulina, Maria Kirichenko, Yulia Rodina, Ekaterina Ulitina, Maya Selezneva, Lawrence Jay Millman, Aleksandra Aleksandrova, and Yulia Bylenok from Russia and Marissa Nielsen-Pincus and Tom Pearson from the United States.
More information at the festival’s official site: Art Prospect Festival Website and dedicated Project Page on Facebook (must be signed in to view). Third Rail Projects’ participation and collaboration in the festival was supported by CEC ArtsLink and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Learn more about CEC Artslink’s Global Art Lab.
The ArtBat Fest 2013, with CEC Artslink Global Art Lab and Third Rail Projects presented a collaborative workshop series that culminated in performances of a new public site-specific work for the elaborate terraced Soviet-era fountain on Arbat Street. The resulting work, Fountain, was a collaboration between Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director Tom Pearson and Associate Artistic Director Marissa Nielsen-Pincus with Yegor Vassilyev and local dance artists in Kazakhstan for the 2013 ArtBat Festival, an international festival of visual art and performance.
Fountain explored notions of permission and play in a setting that married Soviet-era architecture with the shifting and blurring boundaries of contemporary culture, fast food, and public versus private space. The performers observed the decidedly different ways that people passing through the space engaged with it, from the buoyant exploratory athletics of children, to the utilitarian thoroughfare adults have made it. Watching the fountains throughout the seasons of the day, the work embraced the way water flowed, or sometimes stopped, when the space became an obstacle or a passageway, and when it became a destination. And finally, through a slow navigation of its many spans and reaches, from solid marble surfaces and grassy areas, to its wading pool and cascading fountains, the performers attached themselves to its topography, ultimately immersing themselves fully in its waters, unleashing a splash of full-bodied release and eventual rest.
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Participating artists and collaborators included: Yegor Vassilyev, Katya Maiorova, Veronika Mironova, Alina Abuzyarova, Daniel Von Sowulo from Kazakhstan and Marissa Nielsen-Pincus and Tom Pearson from the United States.
More information at the festival’s official site: ArtBat Fest. Third Rail Projects’ participation and collaboration in the festival was supported by CEC ArtsLink and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Learn more about CEC Artslink’s Global Art Lab.
Zach Morris and Tom Pearson, choreographers & directors of Third Rail Projects, in partnership with Capacity Building Foundation and CEC Artslink and Global Art Lab, conducted movement workshops with local dancers, actors and performance artists, culminating in a final performance with participants in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from April 13-23, 2013. The resulting immersive, site-specific work entitled Bathing Aiperi, was performed twice to over 500 audience members.
The title of work references a Kyrgyz moon goddess, but was also the name of the former Soviet-era shopping mall (actually a home repair and beauty center), which had been abandoned and in disrepair until the performance cleaned and occupied its second level. The images of bathing became center to the work and autobiographical of the process, as daily, performers and directors cleaned their way further and further into its recesses.
The local participants in Bishkek brought their own working methods, mythologies, and histories to bare on the work, and together with Tom and Zach created an evening-length immersive work. Over 250 audiences attended each performance and were free to roam about and follow performers into back hallways, shower rooms, and large "ballrooms," occasionally coming all together for larger movement sequences, or pulled away into one-on-one encounters.
Throughout the month of April 2013, US artists (Zach Morris and Tom Pearson of Third Rail Projects, Kendal Henry and Gabriel Reese) collaborated with local institutions and organizations in Central Asia, highlighting the unique perspectives of that community through a series of classes and a cumulative project. Gabriel traveled to Bishkek at the end of April to see Third Rail Projects’ final presentation, and from there all four met in Almaty, Kazakhstan where they participated in a panel discussion on public art.
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Participating artists and collaborators included: Alexandra Bagdasarova, Aibermet Zaiyrova, Sergei Lesenko, Samat Mambetshaev, Nargiz Chynalieva, Tatiana Shin, Renata Mambetova, Nargiza Ryskulova, Sergei Kochetkov, Natalia Firulina, Nina Chernysheva, Rustam Sultanaliev, Djamilya Djarkynbaeva, Kanyet Osmonkolov, Grigori Ribachonok from Kyrgyzstan, and Zach Morris and Tom Pearson from the United States.
Third Rail Projects in Kyrgyzstan and Bathing Aiperi was supported by CEC ArtsLink, Capacity Building Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Learn more about CEC Artslink’s Global Art Lab.
“Education and art with a bit of Gothic ambiance and history thrown in.” – Time Out Hong Kong
The One You Love is Sick was created in a week-long residency in Hong Kong in April 2010. Led by Tom Pearson and Zach Morris of Third Rail Projects, NYC and created with the participants of the Aedas My Footsteps program through workshops and rehearsals, the process shared techniques and methods for creating site-specific work and choreographic material borne from the topography of the Bethanie in Pok Fu Lam.
Drawing inspiration from the space's architecture and history as a sanatorium, participants created the collective vocabulary of the work and developed the choreographic passages in collaboration with the directors, experimenting on site to weave together images of sickness, healing, isolation, and community.
More information, photos, and video coming soon.
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Participating artists and collaborators included: Alz Ng, Catherine Yau, Charles Au, Derek Capps, Evelyn Wan, Ka Yuen, Keene Cheung, Kerry Liu, Kinki Luk, Lawrence Milman, Muriel Hoffman, Odilia Chan, Patricia Chiu, Rebecca Fung, Tommy Tse, Yuen Jie from Hong Kong, and Zach Morris and Tom Pearson from the United States.
The One You Love is Sick was commissioned by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation for the Aedas My Footsteps program which was made possible by project sponsor Aedas Architects and presented by The Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation. Additional support was provided by CUP, Essence of Taste; The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts; and by Third Rail Projects with support from individual and institutional donors.