THE HINTERLANDS is a Detroit-based company who creates genre-defying multidisciplinary performance works that radically re-imagine the relationship between spectator and performer. The company explores the art of performance through explosive and ecstatic training, and engages its local and global neighbors through direct collaboration and exchange. Our Mission: To create essential, immediate, and visceral performances which propel our audiences into a landscape of questions, possibilities, and unknowns. To develop training for the 21st century performer which integrates body and voice, content and form, impulse and technique, technology and tradition. To band together with our community to explore the unmapped regions of our culture, our world, and ourselves: the hinterlands.
The Hinterlands Ensemble formed in September 2009 and is made up of core members Richard Newman, Liza Bielby, Eleni Zaharapoulos and Barney Baggett. Before forming The Hinterlands, ensemble members worked with diverse international ensembles including Double Edge Theatre (Ashfield, MA), The Dell’Arte Company (Blue Lake, CA), Jinjiang Yishu Tuan (Chengdu, China), Bond Street Theatre (New York, NY), Great Small Works (New York, NY), and Changfu Jutuan (Chengdu, China). They have performed throughout North America as well as in Kosovo, Bali, Germany, Macedonia, Poland, Spain, and China.
The Hinterlands’ current body of work centers on searching for the ghosts of traditional American performance forms in contemporary culture and resuscitating them for the Internet Age. The Hinterlands premiered Isaac Newton is Our DJ, an interactive dance party, science experiment, and clown play celebrating and debating the life and laws of Sir Isaac Newton, in January 2010. A twenty-five minute adaptation of William S. Burrough’s The Place of Dead Roads called The Dead Road premiered in Toronto, Canada, as part of the Cooking Fire Theatre Festival in June 2010. In October 2010, The Hinterlands mounted the second phase of The Breaking Bread Performance Project, a long-term collaboration between U.S. and Kosovar artists initiated by Hinterlands Co-Artistic Director Richard Newman. Partnering with Kosovo-based Artpolis, Urban Theater, and Balkan Sunflowers, The Hinterlands conducted workshops and created a non-verbal touring performance with a group of Albanian, Serbian, Roma, and Ashkali teenagers in Prishtina, Kosovo. Most recently, The Hinterlands premiered their psychedelic wild west show Manifest Destiny! (there was blood on the saddle) in Detroit’s historic Jam Handy Building as a part of the Alverno Presents summer presenting series (Milwaukee). This year, the ensemble created Dreamtigers, a family-friendly work commissioned by PuppetArt Detroit and performed in Detroit throughout the spring at PuppetArt and the Detroit Institute of Art.
Currently, the ensemble is embarking on a two-year investigation of vaudeville, subculture and common culture called The Circuit. The project is funded in part through the National Performance Network Creation Fund, co-commissioned by partners Alverno Presents and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Research on The Circuit began with a month-long training exchange and workshop performance with traditionally trained xiqu (“Chinese opera”) artists in Chengdu, China and funded by Asian Cultural Council and TCG/ITI. It will continue with residencies at both partner organizations and will premiere in late summer 2013.
The Hinterlands and their programs have also been funded by the National Performance Network, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Puffin Foundation and CEC ArtsLink.
Contact us at: info[at]thehinterlandsensemble.org(Photo by Amanda Reintjes)