New Paradise Laboratories (NPL) is an experimental performance ensemble that explores radical means to bend conventional ideas of theater, while valuing wild humor, a muscular visual sensibility, and a fascination with the utopian impulse. Led by Pew Fellow and Obie Award-winner Whit MacLaughlin, NPL uses a variety of creative strategies including company-devised techniques, cross-media design elements, and site-specific installations. Center-supported work has included Fatebook, featuring an audience experience that began online before becoming live, and Extremely Public Displays of Privacy, an ambitious three-part, multimedia work. In 2015, NPL received a Center Discovery grant to expand its devised theater techniques and lay the groundwork for a series of new pieces, through investigations of improvisational structures, games of chance, and audience interactivity. This research has informed the Center-supported presentation of Hello Blackout!, a new theater work integrating contingency into NPL’s physical theater style, with live music by composer and Pew Fellow Bhob Rainey.
Built in Germantown from 1765–68, the Johnson House is a National Historic Landmark, documented as a site for Underground Railroad activities.
Philadelphia’s baroque orchestra plays French orchestral music written for the theater.
Composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in musical composition. She began touring with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992, and in 1997, she co-founded the MATA Festival.
Dan Hurlin currently teaches performance art, dance, and puppetry at Sarah Lawrence College, where he also serves as the director of the graduate program in theater. In 2015, Hurlin served as a Performance LOI panelist.
Eungie Joo is the director of art and cultural programs at Instituto Inhotim in Brumadinho, Brazil, a contemporary art complex.
Wendy Perron is a writer, dancer, choreographer, and editor-at-large of Dance Magazine. Perron is a former member of the Trisha Brown Company.
Director Michał Zadara and actress Barbara Wysocka on how classical works influence contemporary theater-making.
Curator Lee Tusman on curating a site-specific performance informed by and presented at the Barnes Foundation.
The members of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage’s New Spaces / New Formats research group presented 14 experimental music projects in fall 2013.
As we near the end of 2015, we invited Center colleagues, collaborators, and grantees to share a memorable and inspiring cultural experience.
“The pulsating energy that we get from drums have a way of connecting us to everything else in the universe,” says Nana Korantema Ayeboafo, a 2008 Pew Fellow.
Brenda Dixon Gottschild’s Center-supported book on Joan Myers Brown received a great deal of media attention upon its release.