Group Show – Theater – Hell

Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff

For our Labzone workshop, we will collectively develop a live theater performance with the students that pulls together everyone’s disparate practices. Together, we will decide on a specific site in or near the school that will serve both as a setting for the play and as a theatrical space for the live performance.

Theater in all its collaborative wildness relies on hierarchy and individual roles, with each participant contributing something different, whether as a writer, a performer, a propmaster, a costume designer (or some combination), to name a few. Each student in Group Show – Theater – Hell will be encouraged to recontextualize their own practice for the stage, deciding for themselves how much of their practice they’d like to bring to the performance and how they can transform for the spotlight.

The site of the performance will serve as a starting point for a high-drama narrative, which will be built together drawing from particularities and personal associations of the chosen site - gossip, conjecture, observation, fantasy.

As a theater, the chosen site will also be developed into its own temporary social/creative space, which invites questions around rules, audience, communication, and exclusivity.

Rough draft - schedule:

Week 1:
We will introduce the labzone and our own practice, as well as some works and readings to consider (Ian White / Stefan Brecht “Queer Theatre” / Mel Chin / … )
Group ideas / planning / assignment of roles / selection of site
Break into working groups for scriptwriting
Finish script outline
Individual meetings

Week 2:
Group check-in
Deep dive into the mechanics of setting up theatrical space (and by extension any temporary social/creative space)
Break into further working groups: actors / setdesign / costume / lighting / sound / documentation
Finalize roles
Individual meetings

Week 3
Guest or visit this week?
Group check-in
Deep dive into documentation
Rehearsals and group acting exercises / Individual meetings

Week 4
Setup of theater space / Final rehearsals / Individual meetings / Final performance