Ensemble Series

A series featuring ensemble theatres speaking on their artistic work and organizational structures.

Interview with PigPen Theatre Company members Ryan Melia, Arya Shahi, and Matt Nurenberger
Essay

Interview with PigPen Theatre Company members Ryan Melia, Arya Shahi, and Matt Nurenberger

21 November 2014

Corey Ruzicano talks with PigPen Theatre Co. members Ryan Melia, Arya Shahi, and Matt Nurenberger.

From the first production of The Serpent.
Ragged Wing Ensemble
Essay

Ragged Wing Ensemble

The Art of Connection

21 November 2014

There are a variety of ways people can stay connected. Each year we all step back and assess where we are with our lives, and who needs what. We want people to step in towards the heart of things when that seems right, and step back when they need to grow in a different way. There is a dynamic quality to it, but also a sense of stability—that's the trick.

Photo from PlayLabs.
It All Comes Back to the Hook
Essay

It All Comes Back to the Hook

20 November 2014

Our process is open-source, inquiry-based and ever-evolving. We love hyphens. We flirt at the intersection of playmaking and script writing. We believe that theater requires the whole performer—mind, body, and voice. Often we draw strong, immediate connections that open up a dialogue between past and present, and play on themes of history, science, mathematics, and social justice.

Attending My Own Wake
Essay

Attending My Own Wake

The End of an Ensemble

19 November 2014

Ensemble theatre artist and director Meg Taintor offers an overview of creating and running a small ensemble theatre company.

Photo from Samurai 7.0.
Thirty Years of Collaborative Creation
Essay

Thirty Years of Collaborative Creation

19 November 2014

Beau Jest in Boston is thirty years old. Over that time we have seen several transformations, but the impulse that brought us together has never changed. We are actor-driven. We only do projects we are personally invested in pursuing as a group. We like work that is physically inventive and imaginatively staged. We like to take our time developing a piece, and will spend anywhere from two months to two years on it. We use Beau Jest as a laboratory to explore new ways of combining gesture, text, and physicality.

Photo from F.O.B.
All or Nothing
Essay

All or Nothing

The Life of an Improbable Ensemble

18 November 2014

In this, Strange Attractor’s first major process, we put our commitment to the test, and through that difficult process, we became an ensemble. We still worked without a director, but unlike our first casual process, now we cared about the outcome. We’d fundraised for airline tickets and stipends and gotten our communities excited about our company. Suddenly it wasn’t enough to make something—we wanted it to be good.

Photo from The Circuit.
Each Project’s Like an Album
Essay

Each Project’s Like an Album

How a Band Model Works for Us

17 November 2014

We’ve found most artists we come in contact with in Detroit aren’t bound to a single discipline—printmakers curate community food-based events, and trained painters build large-scale public installations. This inherent openness to working cross-disciplinarily has helped us to expand our ideas about the work of our company and the nature of our ensemble.

About Ensembles and Universities
Essay

About Ensembles and Universities

100 Questions, 3 Ideas, 1 Story and a Ghost

16 November 2014

Offering insight into the relationship between ensembles and universities, Michael Rohd shares the text of a talk he gave at the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

 

Photo from Group Intelligence.
Out of Hand Theater’s Moments of Mass Intimacy in Public Spaces
Essay

Out of Hand Theater’s Moments of Mass Intimacy in Public Spaces

16 November 2014

We make interactive, innovative, intimate events because we are committed to making work that could not be experienced on a screen of any kind; that literally requires the live presence of the artists and audience. We can’t compete with TV, movies, and the Internet on their terms, but we have something they’ll never have: live human connection, creating moments of mass intimacy.

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Series are collections of content curated around a specific theme. HowlRound works with curators to develop topical pieces meant to spotlight current events and happenings within the commons.