Problem: Theatre is dead and Millennials don't give a shit
Solution: combine rave culture + video art and cinema + performance art
Playing with Form
Celebrate and dance together. Allow for a level of anonymity to release into the experience.
CINEMA AND VIDEO ART
Immerse the audience in a 360 degree world. Like virtual reality in physical space, we can use the "screens as walls" tool to transform the world moment to moment. Highlight plot points and reveal deeper elements of the story.
Rather than spoon-feeding our content, create space for audience members to make meaning from the images we present. Ignore traditions of narrative and linearity that don't serve the sensation we are trying to provoke.
I first saw this show when I was 15. The way the space transforms and new worlds are created around you... the dramatic tension without any dialogue or traditional linear narrative... the absolute joy and celebration; there is nothing like it.
An audio/visual concert hosted every year by WNUR at Northwestern University. I am in complete awe of how old silent cinema paired with experimental sound music can allow for me to create such a specific and personal narrative.
AS AN ARTIST, I THINK ABOUT MY AUDIENCE THE WAY MARKETERS MIGHT THINK ABOUT THEIR CONSUMERS. NOT SO I CAN SELL THEM A PRODUCT, BUT RATHER SO I CAN COMMUNICATE IN A LANGUAGE THAT ACCOUNTS FOR THEIR DEFAULT SENSIBILITIES.
I wanted to figure out a way to revitalize theatre. Reposition it in the mind's of young people as a viable entertainment option for a Friday night. And engage audiences that might spend $40 on a concert, but wouldn’t ever think to see a play. While the pieces cited above have had great success, they are few and far between. Most of my peers just don't care to sit through the average play.
Millennials don’t have shorter attention spans; we pay attention differently. We want denser, richer, more dynamic moments of performance that reveal the story and engage us through multiple mediums simultaneously. We want to "check in" to a piece of art, and experience it on our own terms.
There is something elemental about theatre, which for me makes it worth preserving. At its best, live performance allows me the rare opportunity to exist in the present moment; simultaneously investing me deeper into my own personal narrative, as well as the larger narrative of the human experience. If theatre is the social art form, then it must consider the ways in which potential audiences understand meaning and make connections.
- Isabella Mehiel, Creator and Director
SLEEP NO MORE
This show changed the game for every theatre maker. It brilliantly balances spectacle with raw intimacy, and allows the audience agency to experience the world and story in whatever way they choose.