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Coeurage Ensemble Announces THE NOMAD PROJECT

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The project debuts with nine different stories based at specific coordinates around Los Angeles.

Coeurage Ensemble Announces THE NOMAD PROJECT

Coeurage Ensemble, LA's Pay What You Want performance company, has announced the launch of its new initiative of immersive, location-specific storytelling experiences, The Nomad Project. The first endeavor under the new artistic leadership of Joseph V. Calarco and Amanda McRaven, The Nomad Project debuts with nine individual audio stories by 10 Los Angeles playwrights and screenwriters.

It is set to launch on the redesigned Coeurage.org website and will be available on all major podcast platforms shortly thereafter. Coeurage has partnered with SXSW 2020 Hackathon Winner Marble AR for real-world, augmented reality integration at all of the locations used. The application allows digital 'time capsules' to be anchored to physical spaces and accessed via the Marble AR smartphone app.

Said co-artistic director Calarco, "In response to the covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to be proactive about creating lasting work that could become a fundamental part of what we do going forward, no matter what the new normal brings." Director of Development Mark Jacobson, who conceived The Nomad Project, also saw an opportunity to turn a longtime challenge for the company into an opportunity. Said Jacobson, "We've never had a permanent home; the long-standing line was, 'we're nomadic, but not by choice.' In rethinking what theatre looks, sounds, and feels like, we're saying, 'no matter where you are in greater Los Angeles you can experience a piece of Coeurage.'"

Inspired by the idea of geocaching - the international hobby of crowd-sourced treasure-seeking at specific GPS coordinates - the ensemble commissioned an impressive array of 10 Los Angeles-based playwrights and screenwriters to each write an eight-to-twelve-minute radio play set at a specific, accessible spot on the map, using that existing location as a pre-built set design. Whether a person is in Hollywood, Malibu, or Sun Valley, there will be at least 10 minutes of storytelling nearby that can be enjoyed in person, safely and on one's own time, or about 100 minutes total - the average length of a Coeurage stage production. And if a patron prefers to stay at home, all of the spots are available digitally.

The founders of Marble AR, whose work focuses on merging the digital world with immersive social and storytelling experiences, were excited by the idea of collaborating on The Nomad Project. The company offered Coeurage audiences greater accessibility for how the content can be consumed, allowing it to be accessed outdoors or through a tailored interactive map on the Coeurage website. Audiences looking for the in-person experience can access The Nomad Project's "Marbles" using Marble AR's app, where they will appear when users are physically near each story's setting.

The writers are (in alphabetical order) Boni B. Alvarez, Kate Bailey, Mark Brown, Meghan Brown, June Carryl, Aaron Fullerton, Tom Jacobson, Ann Kimbrough, Roger Q. Mason, Shahrook Oomer, and Yael Zinkow. The casts feature (in alphabetical order) Chris Aguila, Ellie Aviles, Richard Azurdia, Chelsea Boyd, Joseph V. Calarco, June Carryl, Provvidenza Catalano, Anthony Cloyd, Rogelio Douglas Jr., Zehra Fazal, Katelyn Gault, Adrian Gonzalez, Ashley Kane Hanna, Mark Jacobson, Margaret Katch, Nardeep Khurmi, Jay Lee, Jully Lee, Junot Lee, Kerr Lordygan, Jane Lui, Nicole Monet, Katie Pelensky, Christopher Salazar, Sammi Smith, William Christopher Stephens, Randy Thompson, and Betsy Zajko.

The Nomad Project is produced by Cristina Gerla, Katie Pelensky, Katelyn Gault, Joseph V. Calarco, and Mark Jacobson, with sound design and augmented reality coordination by Calarco.

To reflect its core mission of accessibility, Coeurage is offering The Nomad Project free of charge, though a suggested donation of $2-$5 per audio track is encouraged via Venmo @Coeurage or at Coeurage.org.


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