The Brooklyn-based theatre company, Anonymous Ensemble, has presented an array of genre-defying "live films" over the years, and created many fantastical worlds using our unique style of media-infused theatre. We have also incorporated the audience more and more into our live shows. With our next production, we go one step further to develop a piece that is truly imagined by the live audience – that invites the audience to collaborate in real time to create a singular event each time it is performed.
Anonymous Ensemble has always dreamed of making theatre that has a choose-your-own-adventure structure. We've also always been interested in blurring layers of reality and fiction. With our new piece (working title: Eternal Hour), we will create a structure in which the the audience chooses their path through the creation of our collective realities and fantasies. The arc of the piece will be a progression from the ordinary and everyday to a place of impossibility and imagination. A narrative and lush video world will emerge, fueled by original music composed by our Athens-based collaborator Will Antoniou. With a flexible score that responds to input from the audience, the music will draw from Greek, Flamenco, Balkan, North African and Middle Eastern styles and place us on an island that is in an indefinable location somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea and will never be found again.
What you beautiful people will be Kickstarting:
Development Phase One:
Two weeks in Anonymous Ensemble's studio in Brooklyn when Eamonn, Jessica and Liz will work with small groups of people on developing a revolutionary, new kind of theater.
Development Phase Two:
Three weeks in the summer when the Ensemble will work with their team of musicians and designers to create the world of the piece, culminating in a weekend of workshop showings.
Risks and challenges
The beginning of the process of creating a new piece of art that is truly unique is always a challenge. The development process that we are kickstarting will include two weeks in March in our Brooklyn studio interacting with small groups of people drawn from diverse demographic pockets of this amazing city where we live. The sessions will simply be conversations that will not be recorded or used to create any recognizable content. Rather, the goal will be to create a detailed process that successfully engages with potential audience members, regardless of their backgrounds, and encourages them to open up and speak with us about their inner lives and imaginations. Developing this process in such a way that it could be replicated in a performance context seems like a nearly impossible task to us right now which is why we are so excited to delve into it!
The second phase of the development will take place for two weeks in the summer of 2013. We intend to incorporate the music at this point and work with musicians from the geographical areas where our musical inspirations come from. This rehearsal period will also be interspersed with “showings” for small audiences to continue to develop the audience’s role in the experience. Blending the musical styles and figuring out how to incorporate the audience's voices into the music will be a challenge that we are looking forward to tackling.
The third phase will be a final three weeks of rehearsals and showings in January of 2014 leading up to an opening and run in early February at Incubator Arts in New York City. Since the audiences are our primary collaborators in this piece, our greatest challenge will always be to find audiences that offer the most diverse perspectives. Wherever this piece of theater goes, it will be shaped by the people in the local community and part of the presentation of the piece will be to reach out to parts of that community who probably don’t often have a voice in the theatre.
- (24 days)