Woodshed Collective to Present EMPIRE TRAVEL AGENCY

By: Aug. 05, 2015

Woodshed Collective, leaders of audience immersive, site specific performance and creators of Twelve Ophelias ("A deconstructed masterstroke" - New York Press) The Tenant ("A great theatrical tapestry of vintage grit...a triumph of simultaneity and atmosphere" - Village Voice) , and The Confidence Man ("A breathtaking stunt! 5 STARS!" - Adam Feldman, TimeOutNY), present Empire Travel Agency, a unique theatrical experience that allows four audience members at a time to participate in the performance, taking them on a surreal quest through lower Manhattan. Tickets are free and performances begin August 19th with trips running six nights a week through September 27th. The audience's immersive experience begins by booking their tickets on empiretravelagency.com, where they'll reserve a spot on the new trip the agency is offering - "The Hidden City Excursion." This exclusive experience will begin at a payphone in Lower Manhattan, at which point the audience will be whisked away into the night.

New York City is in danger of being stripped of the cultural vitality that makes it the most beloved city on earth because a mysterious, mystical substance behind its centuries of success is at risk. This ambrosia promises Real Estate tycoons vibrant visions of the future of the market, Art Dealers a crystal clear sense of where the taste of the world is heading, and any power broker a chance to hedge the future. Empire Travel Agency gives audience members the chance to save New York City by embarking on a chase to find the recipe to this substance, the holy grail of illumination and inspiration, and preventing this elixir from falling into the wrong hands. Our audience will be taken on a tour of lower Manhattan where they'll confront an odd and ever evolving group of characters on this quest to preserve New York City's survival. Empire Travel Agency is a story about our current place in history, and our collective and personal anxieties about the future.

WOODSHED COLLECTIVE presents immersive, installation, and site-specific theater free of charge.

Woodshed is an immersive, site-specific theater based in New York City. Founded at Vassar College in 2002 by a diverse group of artists working to collectively engage audiences with visceral theatrical experiences, Woodshed creates financially accessible immersive theater. Our audiences explore handcrafted worlds in diverse locations intended to "athleticize" their senses, emotions, and minds. Notable productions include: Caridad Svich's Twelve Ophelias presented in McCarren Park Pool, Paul Cohen's The Confidence Man, (on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River) inspired by Melville's novel and Roland Topor's The Tenant (as a fully realized apartment building in five storey 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side) by Steven Levenson, Tommy Smith, Dylan Dawson, Sarah Burgess, Paul Cohen, and Bekah Brunstetter. Woodshed has expanded its ranks to include Artists behind such shows as: Queen of the Night, ICA's The Experiment, AMC's Televison Upfronts, and Fornicated.

Woodshed is comprised of: Teddy Bergman, Jeremiah Matthew Davis, Gabriel Hainer Evansohn, Carl Faber, Katie Fleming, Mikhael Tara Garver, Will Irons, Jocelyn Kuritsky, Kyra Miller, Will Pickens, Jason Gray Platt, and Stephen Squibb. The company is led by: Teddy Bergman, Artistic Director, Mikhael Tara Garver, Managing Artistic Director, Gabriel Hainer Evansohn, Director of Production.

TEDDY BERGMAN (Artistic Director) is a New York based director, producer, and actor. With Woodshed Collective, he has co-conceived productions of Twelve Ophelias (Director), The Confidence Man, and The Tenant (Director), among others. His work as a director has been seen at Ars Nova, Portland Center Stage, Columbia University, Primary Stages, The Vineyard Arts Project, Space on Ryder Farm, Clubbed Thumb, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. With Woodshed Collective, he is currently under commission from Ars Nova for a new immersive theater experience. As an actor he was in the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award Winning play PETER AND THE STARCATCHER where he originated the role of Fighting Prawn. He will appear in the upcoming Amazon Television Studios Pilot "Good Girls Revolt." Other acting work includes - Theater: Philip Goes Forth (The Mint), Sex Lives of Our Parents (2nd Stage), Peter and the Starcatcher (NYTW), Seven Minutes in Heaven (HERE), Hell House (St. Ann's), I.E. (The Flea), I Was Tom Cruise (Fringe NYC, Best Play Award), and regionally at Bay Street, Williamstown, Huntington, and La Jolla. TV: "Good Girls Revolt," "Law and Order: SVU," "As The World Turns." Film work includes: Wolves (upcoming) Listen Up Philip, Fading Gigolo, Hairbrained, Julie and Julia, Little Big League, and Honeymoon in Vegas. Teddy is an alumnus of Vassar College where he graduated with General and Departmental Honors in Philosophy and received the Vernon Vable Prize for excellence in Philosophy.

MIKHAEL TARA GARVER (Managing Artistic Director) is an immersive theater director who has worked at the Atlantic Theater, American Repertory Theater, Collaboraction Theater, American Conservatory Theater, The Kitchen, Bard University, Grand Arts Center, New York University, The Goodman Theater, The Public Theater, American Theater Company, Timeline Theatre, DePaul University, PlayPenn, Court Theatre, and Steppenwolf Theater Company. She was the associate director for Sleep No More in Boston and a consultant in New York. She was the Artistic Director of beloved Chicago Storefront Uma Productions; Time Out Chicago Top 20 People to Watch 2007; top storefront company of the decade Time Out Chicago; along with numerous Jeff and After Dark Awards. She was the first International Emerging Artist selected by the National Theater of Scotland and an Artistic Associate of SITI company. She directed The Water Play by Sarah Gubbins at The Playwrights Center and at the Goodman Theater and Martin Zimmerman's Seven Spots on the Sun at PlayPenn. She premiered her original immersive production of Fornicated From the Beatles at the Emerging America Festival at American Repertory Theater, Glasslands Gallery, and Public Assembly. This project has developed into Fornicated a durational interactive immersive performance in technology and rock concerts. She directed the world premiere workshop of Gloryana composed and written by Andrew Gerle (The Public Theater, York Theater) and a musical immersive Black Snow composed by Andrew Gerle Lyrics by Royce Vavrek and book by Keith Reddin. She most recently directed Eyes for Consuela for Profile Theatre in Portland. She premiered the technology-newplay extravaganza Experiment America 2012 at the ICA in Boston with over 40 new immersive plays. She has also directed and created the past two massive immersive AMC television up-fronts, as well as the 150 Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Her writing on the developing language for immersive work can be found in howlround: open-frame the language link between live, technology, and immersive performance.

GABRIEL HAINER EVANSOHN (Director of Production) is a Production Designer and Production Manager specializing in creating immersive physical landscapes. He is a founder of Woodshed Collective, where he is currently the Director of Production and Resident Production Designer. For Woodshed, he has designed and Production Managed The Tenant, The Confidence Man, 12 Ophelias, among others. Previously, he worked as a Production Manager for Variety Worldwide leading, building and installing their show The Queen of the Night, at the Diamond Horseshoe in the Paramount Hotel in NYC. His past work includes designing events, performance and scenery for corporate clients such as AMC and Bloomberg L.P., installations and performance at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (Experiment America 2012), and at various theaters through NYC, including the Atlantic Theater Company and Acting School where he worked for 5 years as a Production Manager and Scenic and Lighting Designer. He is a graduate of Vassar College.

JASON GRAY PLATT's (Collective Member, Text) work has been produced and developed around the country by the American Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Flea, Round House Theater, TheatreWorks, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, The Playwrights Realm, Prelude NYC, Page 73, and Red Bull Theater, and through residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. He received a Helen Hayes Nomination for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play in 2013 and was the 2007 runner-up for Princess Grace Award in playwriting. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in New York. BA: Vassar; MFA: Columbia.

2023 Regional Awards


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