The Institute of Visionary History and the Archives of the Deep Now (2018-2019)
Roles: Concept, production, core creative team, lighting, sound, music, projections, room design. Content devised with ensemble and core creative team.
Initial run throughout Fall 2018, remounted in Summer 2019.I conceived "The Institute" with my wife and Co-artistic Director, Ursula Marcum, to be a broad platform for experiential performance and audience discovery. As the story goes... Discovered in the basement beneath The Peale Center, the Archives of the Deep Now are the records of a centuries-old secret society calling themselves The Institute of Visionary History. The Institute believed the building to be a kind of “thin place” where one can more easily transcend our present reality and contact other planes, places, and times. Submersive created The Archives from instructions left behind by The Institute of Visionary History before they mysteriously vanished in 1997. Each box from The Archives contains an experiment designed to conjure visions of the past in order to ask a specific question. Each resulting "episode" is a stand-alone, fully immersive experience for an audience of up to five people at a time. With an elaborate backstory slowing being revealed over time, and individual episodes exploring American history and identity, “The Institute” has become a vehicle for personal, intimate storytelling experiences. So far, we have created six episodes total, each using the space in very different ways. To create each episode, we chose to partner with performers to develop stories originating from outside of our daily lived experience. This collaboration helped us develop a unique voice and create space for identities that are not typically placed in the center of a theatrical narrative.