Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 3, 2011.


Carlo Collodi's 1883 novel reimagined as an interactive story/coloring book, with illustrations by London artist David Shillinglaw.

Hello. We’re Immediate Medium, a New York City nonprofit performance collective made up of theater, dance, film and media artists who share a passion for creating new works of experiential art.  In the spring of 2011, we will premiere The Assassins Chase Pinocchio, a new multimedia theater work that introduces the aesthetics and approach of the “avant-garde” to a new, yet very avant-garde audience: children.


For many people, Disney’s beloved (and largely sanitized) version of the Pinocchio story is all that they know.  Very few are aware that, in Carlo Collodi's original tale, Pinocchio begins as a mischievous and selfish wild child, the Blue-Haired Fairy first appears as a corpse, the Terrible Shark has asthma, and the Talking Cricket is swiftly dispatched by Pinocchio with a hammer.

Collodi recognized that the process of growing up was complex: full of possibility, of joy and transcendence, yet not always happy or safe, and often fraught with difficult lessons.  Child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim describes such tales which reflect life’s complexities as “works of art which are fully comprehensible to the child.”


Bettelheim stressed the need for children to revisit these tales in multiple versions and formats.  So that our young audience can return to the Pinocchio story after experiencing our stage adaptation, we are publishing a new edition of Collodi’s original 1883 text, freely adapted by the company and featuring illustrations by London-based visual artist David Shillinglaw.

An interactive story/coloring book, our version will be printed in black and white with a deliberately minimalist design.  A box of crayons will be included with each book to encourage young readers to not only to read it, but to deface it, complete it, reimagine it, and otherwise make it their own.

Books can be accompanied by the original soundtrack to the show, composed by Alex Bleeker of Real Estate and G. Lucas Crane of Woods.


Last spring, IM artists began working on The Assassins Chase Pinocchio with a singular, deceptively simple question: how do you blow the mind of a five-year-old? Inspired in part by the read-along story albums of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the production uses projections, vintage theatrical effects, found objects, live video and sound, masks, gibberish and psychedelic original music to refract the oral storytelling tradition into an immersive multimedia experience for children young and old.

The Assassins Chase Pinocchio will be presented in New York April 27-May 14, 2011 at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center,107 Suffolk Street in New York.


North London-based David Shillinglaw illustrates a chaotic exchange between individuals and their tactile environment, exploring ideas of identity and the riddle of the human condition. Much of the work includes representation of the human form, whether a complex anatomical diagram, or naive stick man, the work revolves around Man Kind as a signifier. David's work draws on ancient mythology along side popular culture; creating a dialogue and vocabulary that skips between the historic and the contemporary.

“My work deals with an ongoing quest to control and define the human condition. The work depicts all the devious devices we use to conceal and reveal our true identities as we struggle both to fit in and stand out. I make work that illustrates the shifts between the multitude of fictions we labor under and the reality of who we are...I make things that force me to consider what it is to be human.” -- David Shillinglaw

VIDEO: "Never Not Working" - A documentary short about the work of David Shillinglaw

This work by Immediate Medium is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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