The Office Project is an immersive theatrical experience that invites the audience to join the temporary workforce of Prairie Dog Mutual Life Insurance Company. Centered on the dreams, ambitions, and identities of the show’s employees, permanent and otherwise, as their employers take the company public, The Office Project explores the business of valuing human life. Installed in actual office space, audiences compete in power games, attend board meetings, fire people and get fired. Sourced from surveys, anecdotes, scripted materials, and those literal maps of human destiny – life insurance actuarial tables – The Office Project examines the choices we make and the lives that result from them.
Artist Statement: Living in New York, it is impossible not to notice the central role work plays in how people evaluate their own lives. By casting the audience as temps at a life insurance company, we hope to examine the same question from the opposite perspective: what happens when your business is valuing the lives of others? Here we are showing several short scenes, as well as some of the interactive content we have developed for orienting and training the audience. Collaborating Artists: Written contributions from Alexander Borinsky, Caridad Svich, Cory Hinkle, Jen Silverman, Jenny Connell Davis, Jon Caren, Jonathan Fitts, Kristen Palmer, Kyra Miller, Lucas Kavner, Mat Smart, Matthew Lee Erlbach, Nathan Dame, Nick Pappas, Paul Cohen, ,Rachel Jenrezweski, Rachel Shukert, Seth Bockley, Tara Schuster, Jason Platt.
About Woodshed Collective: Woodshed Collective creates installation theater and immersive performance. Since 2006 the company has evolved into conceiving and presenting large scale theatrical events including: Twelve Ophelias by Caridad Svich (performed in McCarren Park Pool), The Confidence Man adapted from the Melville by Paul Cohen (performed on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River), and The Tenant adapted from the novel and film by Steven Levenson, Tommy Smith, Dylan Dawson, Sarah Burgess, Paul Cohen, and Bekah Brunstetter (performed in a five storey 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side). Bound by the belief in the combined power of language, story, and architecture to bind groups of people and break down the barriers of everyday life, we maintain a commitment to making our work available to all audiences.
Upcoming for The Office Project: Workshops on Sunday and Monday, September 22nd and 23rd and December 5th-7th. These workshops are the culmination of a Swing Space residency in office space in lower Manhattan through LMCC. The piece is planned to premiere in the winter of 2014/2015. www.woodshedcollective.com