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Set Design: Survive!

Survive!
Swim Pony Performing Arts
Arts Underground at the Wolf Building
Philadelphia, PA

Director: Adrienne Mackey
Lighting Designer: Maria Shaplin
Sound Designer: Mikaal Sulaiman

Part performance, part installation, part wandering through a maze, and part choose-your-own-adventure story, SURVIVE! takes on themes of science and humanity’s existence in the universe. Audience members wander through the show's 20,000 square feet, guided by “a tenth dimensional narrator” named AMA and her four "fractals" who translate the universe for us through their unique perspectives. Surround yourself in a "walkway to space," visit a Gentle Scientist who will patiently explain the universe for you or tap dance your way across dimensions through this experiential journey into the space that surrounds us.

"The Franklin Institute couldn’t have crafted a more engaging, more immersive exhibit to address these questions. From the moment I lumbered down into the Wolf Building’s 22,000 square feet of converted space, I felt the entombing sense of traveling inside a submarine. Set designer Lisi Stoessel had honeycombed the ceiling of the central “Hub,” coated the walls of a terrarium with creeping flora (even staging a Floral Puppet show), sculpted a cavernous, star-speckled space room, and transformed the dank basement into a pristine empanelled space station."
-Jim Rutter/Broad Street Review

"The spacey white-mesh and plastic set (Lisi Stoessel), lighting (Maria Shaplin), and spot-on sound (Mikaal Sulaiman) mean everything to the show. You'd have to see it several times to catch all the "node" action. But just once will get you into the 10th dimension.."
-Howard Shapiro/Philadelphia Inquirer

"Leaving the hub, each audience member is free to choose his or her own road through scenic designer Lisi Stoessel’s sprawling maze of pathways and small rooms, referred to as “nodes.”...Each node is its own little universe"
-J Cooper Robb/Philadelphia Weekly

See more of Lisi's set designs here:
http://www.lstoessel.com/53206/designs/

Set Design: Hotel Cassiopeia

Hotel Cassiopeia
by Charles Mee

A dreamlike biography of the visual artist Joseph Cornell, staged environmentally.

Single Carrot Theatre
Baltimore, MD

Director: Genevieve de Mahy
Lighting Designer: Joey Bromfield
Costume Designer: Heather Jackson
Props Designer: Ben Hoover

"Set Designer Lisi Stoessel truly captures the raw essence of this artist in her construction of the four main shadowboxes – each distinctive from the other, capturing the reclusive yet beautiful interior of Cornell’s world."
-Amanda Gunther/DC Metro Theatre Arts

"Her set really hits the mark, and offers a tactile feast for the senses, which patrons are encouraged to touch and explore upon their arrival."
-David London/What Weekly

See more of Lisi's set designs here:
http://www.lstoessel.com/53206/designs/

Set Design: Lady M

Lady M
by Lauren Feldman and the Ensemble

Swim Pony Performing Arts
at Arts Bank (Philadelphia Live Arts Festival)
Philadelphia, PA

Director: Adrienne Mackey
Lighting Designer: Maria Shaplin
Costume Designer: Alisa Kleckner

Enter the mind of Lady Macbeth. With the help of a chorus of witches, Lady M re-tells the story of her life in Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. Killing the king. The ghost at the table. The frenzied dances of the witches. Out damn spot. A battle is waged against Lady Macbeth's fate as she cycles the story around in a nightmare of bloodshed superimposed onto a background of vocal chaos.

"The cast of ten witches...crawl on (and through) an ingenious set featuring a series of weblike, nearly sheer, fabrics that dominate the entire stage"
-Estia

"The space provided a visceral backdrop. This uncomfortable feeling came from the elaborate, visually wispy and yet heavily used webbing design of Lisi Stoessel"
-Ruth K Brown/Stage Magazine

"Then I saw the stage: A majestic bed and a throne entangled in a dark and twisted web of fibers that vibed chaotic and harrowing all at once."
-Brandon Lafving/Phawker.com

See more of Lisi's set designs here:
http://www.lstoessel.com/53206/designs/

Puppet design: A Sorcerer's Journey

Lisi cast positives of the actor/puppeteer's faces and then built upon them to create the characters Don Juan and Carlos.

A Sorcerer's Journey
by Ensemble
Single Carrot Theatre
Baltimore, MD

Carlos Castaneda’s controversial writings on mysticism captivated a following. Who was the man behind these writings, and what about them launched a movement? An all-new original journey from Single Carrot Theatre.

See more of Lisi's puppets here:
http://www.lstoessel.com/219329/creatures/

Set, Robots, and Doll Design: Heddatron

Sets, Robots and wooden dolls created for:

Heddatron by Elizabeth Merriweather
Sideshow Theatre Company
Steppenwolf Garage
Chicago, IL

It all starts with a book falling from the sky. Suddenly Jane Gordon, a very depressed and very pregnant Michigan housewife, finds herself kidnapped by a clan of renegade sentient robots and whisked away to the jungles of South America where she is forced to perform the title role in a mechanical version of Hedda Gabler. As a documentarian searches for the truth about Jane’s abduction and Jane’s family mounts a search party, her 10-year-old daughter Nugget discovers a past where a tormented Henrik Ibsen squeezes out each tortured word of his greatest masterpiece. Dark and savagely funny, Heddatron “achieves true, and truly original, theatrical transcendence” (Ben Brantley, NY Times) in a bizarre and strangely familiar world of reality TV and rocket launchers where everyone, metal or otherwise, just wants to feel a little bit human. Sideshow Theatre Company is proud to partner with robotics experts from across Chicago to present a cast of both human actors and functioning robots in the Chicago premiere of Elizabeth Meriwether’s frighteningly funny Heddatron.

"Lisi Stoessel’s set provides one of the most satisfying reveals you’ll see all year."
-Kris Vire/Time Out Chicago

"Director Jonathan L. Green and his team of designers have crafted an outstanding multi-sensory experience, as Christopher M. LaPorte’s sound design builds tension to the reveal of the full grandeur of Lisi Stoessel’s set and Jordan Kardasz’s lighting: the Robot Forest."
-Oliver Sava/Chicago Theatre Blog

*Lisi won a non-equity Jeff Award in Artistic Specialization for her robot design of "Hans"

See more of Lisi's creatures here:
http://www.lstoessel.com/219329/creatures/

Puppetry: The Curators and the Owners

Conceptual sketches and workshop performance towards the creation of body puppet characters "The Curators and The Owners" for production in process, "Musaeum".

Creation, Performance, Fabrication by Lisi Stoessel and Jordan Morley

Developed at The O'Neill National Puppetry Conference in Waterford, CT

  • Performance Footage: Excerpt from "Musaeum"

    Creation, Performance, Fabrication: Jordan Morley and Lisi Stoessel Direction and Dramaturgy: Georgina Escobar Original Music Composed by: Diana Sussman and Melissa Dunphy Video by: Chad Williams and Z.Briggs Skirts by: Alexandra Abene and Juli Abene Additional Help and Guidance on Foam Fabrication: Christine Papalexis and Shoshana Yaari.
  • The Curators and the Owners

    Conceptual Sketch for a set of body puppet characters for upcoming production, Musaeum.

Performance: Shadow-Matter

Shadow-Matter is a movement-based experiment in studying the effects of the unseen; from intimacy and the human subconscious to the vastness of space and the mysterious structure of matter

Shadow-Matter was created and performed in 2012 by Lisi Stoessel, Ben Drexler, and Dannie Snyder for the Artistic Blind Dates program at the Source Festival in Washington, DC. The project was funded by a Creative Communities grant from the Cultural Development Corporation.

"Shadow-Matter is enthralling"- Robert Duffley/DC Theatre Scene

"A tantalizing bit of choreographed sci-fi"- Celia Wren/Washington Post

Performance: The Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe

Role: Barkeep, re-devised for the fall run with Caitlin Bouxsein
Directed by Glenn Ricci, Susan Stroupe, Michele Minnick
Created by Ensemble
The Enoch Pratt House
Baltimore, MD
Fall 2015

"The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe," a many-layered immersive theater experience in which the audience would freely explore the first floor of the Enoch Pratt House and observe one or more of nine overlapping stories based Poe's life and fiction. The fully devised work incorporated movement, spoken word, song, explorable sets, and private character encounters all synchronized to a 2-hour continuous soundtrack.

"Surprisingly unpredictable, each performance draws a small circle of theatre goers into a world both bizarre and beautiful."
Baltimore Post-Examiner

"Poe himself is not present, but is everywhere in the atmosphere."
Hyperallergic

"An intensely immersive theatrical experience like no other in Baltimore, Washington, or any of the surrounding metropolitan areas, 'The Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe' is quickly becoming Baltimore’s own 'Sleep No More'".
TheatreBloom

Performance: Tia Nina

Tia Nina is a feminist punk rock modern dance band. Iconic powerhouse trio J Van Stone (Leah Curran Moon), Sammy Rain (Ilana Silverstein) and Sticks (Lisi Stoessel), deliver an exciting, rock ‘n roll meltdown of a show. Tia Nina critiques rock performance by reading the showy, phallic panache of lead guitarists, the aggressive boastful struts of front men, and the sweaty, reckless abandon of great drummers through a lens that exposes how masculine activity, feminine passivity and compulsory heterosexuality are reproduced in rock ‘n roll. Tia Nina shatters expectations and surprise audiences with a gritty, physical, surreal experience that challenges taken-for-granted assumptions about rock performance, modern dance, gender and popular culture. Through a witty social critique of contemporary gender relations, the band delivers a celebration and a deconstruction of rock ‘n roll.

“In the most entertaining way imaginable, they manage to take decades of faux masculinity and heteronormativity that we know as The Rock Show and totally eviscerate it.”
– Glenn Ricci, Delirium Dog

“Fantastically fun and delightfully subversive” -Kate Mattingly, DC Theatre Scene

“‘Edgy’ is far too conservative and misleading a term to describe these three women’s intense, physical, rhythmic portrayal of the way men perceive and misperceive women … ‘Off the edge of the earth’ would be a better way of putting it.”
-Cliff Brody, cliffordbrody.com

WEBSITE:
tianinarocks.com

VIDEOS:
vimeo.com/tianina

Performance Reel

Excerpts from the following productions:
I. "What's the Time, Mr. Wolf?"
Role: Woman
Directed by Laura Purcell
The Eugene O'Neill National Puppetry Conference
Waterford, CT USA
2014
II. "Clan Destin"
Role: Alfonso
Directed by Oliver Pollak
Created/performed by Atelier des Mimes Berlin
Blue Tap
Berlin, Germany
2015
III. "Juiced"
Role: Sticks
Created/performed by Tia Nina
The Clarice Smith Dance Theatre
College Park, MD USA
2015

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About Lisi

Lisi Stoessel is a hybrid theatre artist exploring the aesthetics and transformative potential of the moving body in space. This lifelong interest has led her from depicting the bodies of others as a visual artist and set designer to performing with her own body in the fields of puppetry, dance, and... more

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