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Third Rail Projects Brings Immersive Theater to Bushwick


According to press notes from M Properties Group, Third Rail Projects has leased and customized a single-story 5,000 SF warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn (at 383 Troutman Street) for its fully immersive theater experience THE GRAND PARADISE, in which visitors travel to a tropical paradise. Previews begin December 10 for an opening in mid-January 2016.

Curbed writes that Third Rail's use of the space is helping to transform Bushwick into an "arts destination". The neighborhood is also home to performance spaces House of Yes and The Bushwick Starr, as well as The Muse's circus training facility. Fifty to sixty live-work artist studios are also in development.

Based on a concept by Tom Pearson, THE GRAND PARADISE is directed, designed, written and choreographed by Tom Pearson, Zach Morris and Jennine Willett in collaboration with The Company and produced in association with Bill Caleo and Zach Stern.

Set in those hazy and culturally liminal years of the late 1970s becoming the 1980s, the experience begins as you are handed a vintage plane ticket by a polyester-clad airline attendant. You and other guests find yourselves transported to THE GRAND PARADISE, a tropical resort that purports to be the home of the original, genuine Fountain of Youth. Greeted with a tropical drink, a garland of flowers, and an overly-cheerful Activities Director, visitors encounter the resort's resident population, characters who embody the era's shifting and blurring values -- a rogue's gallery of eccentrics, hustlers, eternal youths, gods, monsters, disco queens, and con men. Visitors to THE GRAND PARADISE are invited to explore the grounds and the beaches, watch a floorshow, quench their deepest longings, follow performers into one-on-one encounters, and trade their faded ideals for shiny new illusions. Ultimately, THE GRAND PARADISE offers a pas de deux of desire and death, a midlife crisis, a coming of age, and search for the revitalizing waters of the Fountain of Youth at the resort of the eternally brokenhearted.

THE GRAND PARADISE is created in collaboration with company members Erik Abbott-Main, Elizabeth Carena, Alberto Denis, Ashley Handel, Roxanne Kidd, Jeff Lyon, Rebekah Morin, Lauren Muraski, Marissa Nielsen-Pincus, Tara O'Con, Wil Petre, Joshua Reaver, Katrina Reid, Edward Rice, Ashley Robicheaux, Sebastiani Romagnolo, Jessy Smith, Tori Sparks, Niko Tsocanos, and Carlton C. Ward. The production features original music & sound design bySean Hagerty, costumes by Karen Young with Third Rail Projects, environment design by Zach Morris, Tom Pearsonand Elisabeth Svenningsen, production/project management by Andrea Dohar Corbett, stage management by Kristina Vnook, technical direction by Carlton C. Ward.

Hailed as one of the foremost companies creating site-specific, immersive and experiential dance-theater in the United States, Third Rail Projects, led by Artistic Directors Zach Morris, Tom Pearson, and Jennine Willett, is dedicated to re-envisioning ways in which audiences can engage with contemporary performance. They have made work in New York, internationally, and abroad for over 15 years, and their long-running, award-winning work, THEN SHE FELL, was named as one of the "Top Ten Shows of the 2012" by Ben Brantley of The New York Times and acclaimed as one of the best theater experiences of 2013 by Vogue Magazine. The show has also garnered accolades from Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and countless others. Third Rail Projects has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including three New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards for Then She Fell (2013) and Vanishing Point (2008).

Fundamental to Third Rail Projects' work is the notion of re-imagining contexts for presenting contemporary work, as exemplified by their history of creating projects sought after by both avid dance and theater goers as well as underserved populations and those seeking unique experiences.

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