Immersive Theatre Intensive
Saturday, June 23rd
5253 N Kenmore Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
10:00am - 1:00pm - Performing Immersive
Co-Artistic Director Ann Kreitman and ensemble member Shaina Schrooten lead this class focused on performing in unique audience environments. We will explore generating material and "filling in" blocking, audience awareness, involvement, and safety, and remaining present in changing circumstances.
2:00pm - 5:00pm - Creating and Designing Immersive
Co-Artistic Director Janet Howe and ensemble member Molly Donahue will lead discussion and exercises in creating the "puzzle" of immersive work and methods of enhancing the audience experience. Ensemble members Sydney Achler and Matt Reich lead part of the session in designing environments, utilizing the sensory experience, and how to design big impact on a small budget.
5:30pm - Immersive Community Mixer
Can't make a session? Join us in the evening at Burke's Public House (5401 N Broadway St) to have a drink, socialize, and compare notes.
Ann Kreitman is Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre and a freelance director and theatre creator. Using her background in Viewpoints, physical theatre, clown, and improv, Ann creates theatrical events that revolutionize the audience experience. Previously, she has created immersive experiences for Eugenia in For One ((re)discover theatre) and "I left your key under the mat, dear" (Chicago Home Theatre Festival, 2nd Floor Rear). Directing credits include The?Unicorn?Hour? (Pivot Arts Festival), ROW AFTER ROW (The Comrades), The Veil (Idle Muse Theatre), Fifty Shades of Shakespeare, Home, ((re)discover theatre), El Stories: People Watching (Waltzing Mechanics). This fall, (re)discover theatre will be premiering Les Innocents/The Innocents, an immersive quest for queer love set in the Paris Catacombs, created and directed by Ann Kreitman.
Shaina Schrooten has been working in the Chicago theatre scene as an actor for almost 5 years now. Theatre companies in town she has worked with include Organic Theater, Theater Wit, Jackalope Theatre Company, The Shakespeare All-Stars, Midsommer Flight, Backroom Shakespeare Project, Twenty Percent Theatre, The Runaways, and of course (re)discover theatre where she has been a company member for four years. She graduated from The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in 2013, which is where her love for devised theatre began. When Shaina moved to Chicago she roped her creative partner, Ann Kreitman, into helping develop a devised/immersive piece entitled I Left Your Key Under the Mat, Dear, which has since been seen at festivals such as Chicago Home Theatre Festival and Second Floor Rear. From there, she continued down the immersive route helping write and perform in (re)discover's production of Farewell My Friend. Currently you can see Shaina in Organic Theater's new play: Tiresias was a Weatherman performing at the Greenhouse Theater. Coming up, Shaina will be performing in Strawdog Theatre Company's immersive production of Masque Macabre.
Janet Howe is Co-Artistic Director of (re)discover theatre and a director. Over the past four years Janet's work has focused on immersive, site-specific, and audience driven work. Janet Co-Directed both iterations of Farewell My Friend, building the format for that full explorative-immersive work. In 2017, Janet curated and experience directed FOR ONE a series of plays built for an audience of one. Janet has a training background in dance, physical theater, clown, viewpoints and has also worked as a costume designer. This fall they will Co-Directing Masque Macabre: An Immersive Affair with Strawdog Theatre. In September, Janet will be begin the MA program at Middlesex University, London, studding accessibility in immersive theater.
Molly H. Donahue is a director and new works developer here in Chicago. She's been with (re)discover as an ensemble member since the first run of Farewell My Friend. She is obsessed with audience relationships, metaphors, puzzles and philosophy - all of which attributes to her fascination with immersive theatre. She is currently working as the dramaturg for (re)discover's next project - Les Innocents. She was also the director and co-creator of "The Guest", one of the experiences for (re)discover's For One. Earlier this year Molly worked with The Barrens Theatre Company, developing and directing the workshop production of The Bloody Bathory Project, a large scale immersive play that toyed with the limits of audience perspective and choice. With a background in stage management, she also recently led a workshop for Stage Management and Immersive Theatre at this years South Eastern Theatre Conference.
Sydney Achler is a Chicago and Minneapolis based scenic designer and painter. She loves hiding Easter eggs in her designs to make you giggle, wonder, or remember your grandmother's dining room. To her, working in immersive theatre feels like letting an audience in on all of her inside jokes by hiding them in plain sight.