Welcome, Strange Attractor!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Network of Ensemble Theatres, we are embarking on our next project! With our dear friends Strange Attractor Theatre Company (Providence, Philadelphia, Juneau), we were awarded a NET/TEN exchange grant to share administrative best practices while in rehearsals for a new piece. The piece, SANS EVERYTHING, follows drone-like space explorers as they are forced by some unseen power to perform Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT. Set so far in the future that everything from our past has been forgotten, SANS EVERYTHING is a meditation on why perform for each other and on what we owe the past when considering our future. All ten performer/creators from the two companies will gather, first here in Philadelphia and early next year in Providence. During our busy rehearsal schedule we are devoting one day of the week towards administrative exchange. On these days we meet in an office, not a rehearsal room, to discuss the ins and outs of running a small theatre company.

Our two companies have many similarities–a shared pedagogy (members of Strange Attractor met at LISPA and members of LRS met at the Pig Iron School, both Lecoq-based programs), a shared method of devising, and between 3 and 5 years of experience working together. But we also have much to learn from each other. Strange Attractor has got the “applying for grants” thing DOWN. They love going to conferences and meeting other artists in our field. We at Lightning Rod Special have more touring experience and pride ourselves on throwing a great party. Over the course of the exchange we will meet each other not only as creative collaborators but as artistic administrators. We will help each other acquire new skills (QuickBooks??) and introduce each other to presenters in our home regions. We will make critical observations of each others’ working practices with just as much care and generosity as we do in the rehearsal process.

At the end of the three weeks here in Philly, our two companies will be traveling down to New Orleans for the brand new Faux/Real festival to present the first iteration of our work on SANS EVERYTHING. Please be sure to join us for a party on the evening of November 14th as we present a showing of the work we’ve made and to send us off to NOLA in style!

We will be keeping an exchange diary here so stay tuned as we let you inside of our process. It is sure to be exciting, difficult, silly, and all new to us! With that, WELCOME, STRANGE ATTRACTOR!