Professional award-winning theatre artists will be paired with households across the Greater Philadelphia region to create original performance works that tell a story of family.
Theatre Horizon, a professional theatre company located in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is proud to announce the launch of a first-of-its-kind artistic program which will help households develop and share their own family stories with their communities. The Art Houses initiative, developed by Theatre Horizon Artistic Director Nell Bang-Jensen, will pair professional theatre artists with families and households throughout the Greater Philadelphia region to create original performance works that will be presented on a monthly basis.
“Art Houses will create theatre for the era of quarantine, tell the untold stories of households struggling to survive and thrive during a worldwide pandemic, and create community when people are most in need of connection” said Bang-Jensen. “We hope to expand the idea of ‘who is in a family’ and explore the sensation moments that can be found within the familiar every day: how do we create new rituals, celebrate, and grieve when we are separated from our broader friends and family?”
In the Art Houses initiative, professional theater artists will guide Philadelphia and Norristown area households in creating and performing an evening of original theater. The piece will be performed in the participant’s home and live streamed to Theatre Horizon audiences across Montgomery County, Philadelphia, and surrounding counties. Art Houses will be rehearsed and performed online, giving participants the opportunity to experience a professional theater process from the comfort and safety of their home. The content of the shows will vary depending on each household’s story, and may include scenes, songs, monologues, and poetry. Each Creative/Artistic Team consists of one Team Leader (a Director with experience in marking original work and working with community members who are engaged in theater making) and one Writer/Dramaturg, who will serve to document the process and ultimately create a final script based on generative exercises and prompts.
The rehearsal calendar will be crafted around each household’s schedule and people with all work and personal schedules are encouraged to participate. Families can expect a commitment of approximately 40 hours spread out over the course of 2-3 months. All households will be paid $500 for their participation, and will be selected by a small (stress-free) interview process; households will be selected to represent the wide diversity of the Norristown region. Additionally, each household will be responsible for identifying the contents of a “mystery box” that will be mailed to ticket holders ahead of showtime. These boxes will provide a tactile relationship to the performance, and mimic the surprise of truly live performance.
A celebrated devised theatre director herself, Bang-Jensen will oversee a team of Art House artists, including Brett Robinson, Johanna Kasimow, Bradley K. Wrenn, Eva Steinmetz, and Marisol Rosa-Shapiro. Vanessa Ogbuehi serves as Artistic Producer. Additional artists will be announced at a later date.
For more information about Art Houses or about Theatre Horizon, visit theatrehorizon.org. If you’re a household interested in participating in Art Houses, please contact Nell Bang-Jensen at email@example.com.