Caden Manson & Jemma Nelson Curate The Special Effects Festival Jan 11-13, 2018

Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson curate the 5th annual Special Effects Festival in NYC January 11-13, 2018 at The Wild Project in the East Village.

Artist driven and oriented, Special Effects gathers experimental performance works by practitioners exploring contemporary issues. Drawing on a network of over 7K artists who are part of, the festival samples the diversity and richness of the discipline of performance and presents an open forum for critical thinking on the issues of the day.
Tickets are $25 (Free Drink Ticket).

“This year’s edition of Special Effects Festival asks, how do we strengthen community, how do we build empathy, and how do we stay focused and carry each other through this clusterf*ck”.

Artist presented this year are Becca Blackwell, Kate Dakota Kremer, Maiko Kikuchi, Jeremy O. Harris, Cara Francis, Alex Borinsky, Zoë Geltman, Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. Lisa Clair curates Gray Spaces this year.



In Print: Imagined Theatres

Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson are published in “Imagined Theatres”  this month.

Imagined Theatres collects hypothetical performances written by nearly one hundred leading theorists and artists of the contemporary stage. These dramatic fragments, prose poems, and microfictions describe imaginary events that put theory itself onstage. Each no longer than a page, and accompanied by a reflective gloss, these texts consider what might be possible and impossible in the theatre.

Caden Manson Teaches At LaMaMa International’s Director’s Symposium In Umbria, Italy July 23-30, 2017

This Summer, Caden Manson will be leading a week long workshop titled, Frameworks: Digital Devising For Contemporary Performance at La Mama International’s Director’s Symposium in Umbria, Italy July 23-30, 2017. During the workshop, students will be introduced to some of the key terms and techniques Manson uses for developing work with his company Big Art Group.

Frameworks is a set of techniques in digital devising for contemporary performance. It incorporates a new and expanding vocabulary for performance that reflects and embodies our hyper-connected world; it includes exercises for creators, collaborators, and participants in performance works; and it engages in working with contemporary technology.

“What Could We Build, or Is the Future Already Behind Us?: A Forum” – Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson published in Yale’s Theater Magazine

Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson have been published in Yale’s Theater Magazine. They were part of “What Could We Build, or Is the Future Already Behind Us?A Forum” during Prelude15 Festival along with David LevineDavid ConisonRyan McNamaraAlexandro Segadeand Tom Sellar. Available online at Duke Journals.

“For the 2015 Prelude festival, held at New York’s Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, cocurator Antje Oegel and I wanted to think about architecture in two ways. First, we invited artistic leaders of New York’s newest theater buildings—Performance Space 122 and St. Ann’s Ware- house—to present their plans to an audience of artists and professionals. We wanted to know why these structures were going up and what the ideas were behind their designs. We talked about how they would (ostensibly) contribute to the urban ecology and what opportunities they might o er artists and audiences.

For the second part of this initiative, we invited a handful of hometown theater makers to imagine ideal architectures for future performance: anything from a building to a technol- ogy, a public assembly or any other kind of structure. They presented their projects live and in a modest exhibit—and a spirited discussion ensued. Is architecture about more than just buildings? What’s the use of utopian fantasies like this—are they essential nourishment in a city dominated by commerce, where culture easily becomes another commodity? Was the curato- rial prompt a form of entrapment for artists who prefer to work around limitations and come up with something real? What did these artists’ thought experiments reveal about the creative needs of the city when placed next to the building projects actually going up in the metropolis?” – Tom Sellar

In Print: Theater der Zeit – Arbeitsbuch 25, Castorf

Big Art Group’s interview is out about Frank Castorf in Theater der Zeit’s Arbeitsbuch 2016! Thanks to Matt Cornish

From the book

“Endstation Amerika” ​​in Santiago de Chile, “The Master and Margarita” in Moscow, “Pension Schöller: The Battle” in Belgrade, “Dämonen” in Paris – Frank Castorf’s transhistoric and transgeographical aesthetics has outgoing from the mother ship Volksbühne by regular guest plays theaters, Critics and artists all over the world. But how is his thinking and staging of “unique realities” in the context of other aesthetic, cultural, and, above all, political-social contexts? How do his literary adaptations affect a Russian audience? Like his wild, existential, theatrical-acting theater theater director in China? What are the intellectual tips? What aesthetic?

The workbook 2016 presents the work of Frank Castorf in its international perception, recalls its beginnings in Vorpommerschen Anklam, maps his work at the Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and focuses on this all-encompassing aspects such as “medial strategies” (Alexander Kluge) , “Philosophical interpretations” (Boris Groys), “East-West transformations” (Carl Hegemann). We also publish Frank Castorf’s speech in March 2016 on the occasion of the awarding of the Grand Art Prize of the Academy of Arts, Berlin.

In Print: Big Art Group’s THE PEOPLE – L.E.S. Featured in Exeunt Magazine

© Grant Shafer

© Grant Shaffer

“New York-based performers Big Art Group came home to Abrons Arts Center this month, with their show The People, an experiment in democracy-building as only this adventurous, tech-savvy company could imagine it.”

Click here to read the full article.

After Spectacularity published in Theater Magazine

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In Print: The People in Danish Teater1 Magazine


Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson spoke with Mette Garfield, co editor of the Danish Theater Magazine Teater1, on the occasion of Big Art Group’s performances of THE PEOPLE – LES at Abrons Arts Center in New York. In the article and interview Big Art Group discusses the performance of democracy, contemporary tragedy, and Big Art Group’s use of technology in participatory live events.

“Its not high tech or low tech, its me and you tech” – Caden Manson