Anne Hamburger founded En Garde Arts in 1985 and is widely credited with pioneering the development of site-specific theatre in New York. From 1985 through 1999, En Garde Arts produced ambitious, large scale theatrical work using the city as its stage transforming such unlikely spaces as four square blocks of the meatpacking district for Reza Abdoh’s Father Was A Peculiar Man, the courtyard and façade of a former cancer hospital called the Tower’s Nursing Home for Chuck Mee’s Another Person is a Foreign Country, directed by Anne Bogart; the intersection of Wall and Broad Streets in the financial district for a new musical by Jonathan Larson called JP Morgan Saves the Nation; and a twisted metal pier jutting out into the Hudson River for Chuck Mee’s Orestes directed by Tina Landau. The arrival of twins led Hamburger out west to found and run Creative Entertainment, a global division for Disney, for nearly nine years, but with the conclusion of this chapter, she returned to New York to relaunch En Garde Arts. It’s second incarnation began in 2014 and continues today. Her missioned broadened to include work in theatres; including the multi-media shows BASETRACK Live, a show about the impact of war which toured to 40 cities around the country and premiered at BAM; and Wilderness, co-written by Hamburger, about teenage mental health issues, which premiered at prestigious venues including the Kennedy Center. It was published by Dramatists Play Service.
All the shows that have been created not only focus upon what stories are told but on how they are told, where they are told and to whom. En Garde’s work has lifted up under-represented voices with the development of work focusing upon the salient social issues of our time. In 2020, En Garde produced Fandango for Butterflies and Coyotes by an all Latinx team about undocumented immigrants, that was shut down due to covid and returned to New York in 2021. En Garde’s most recent production created in May, 2021 during the pandemic was A Dozen Dreams, an immersive theatrical production, co-created by Hamburger with John Clinton Eisner and Irina Kruzhilina, that brought the pandemic dreams to life of a dozen women playwrights through sets, lights, video and sound. It was created in an empty store at Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan and played to sold out audiences and critical acclaim. Its physical structure accommodated covid regulations with only two audience members at a time experiencing each of the dozen rooms created. Hamburger has been the recipient of a Lee Reynolds Award and En Garde Arts has received OBIES, Drama Desk and Outer Critic’s Circle Awards.
Jen Harvie is Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance at Queen Mary University of London. Her research explores how theatre and performance artists make their work, and the cultural politics of performance, focusing especially on urban inequalities, gender, and sexuality. Her publications include: two books with queer artists, Scottee: I Made It and The Only Way Home Is Through the Show: Performance Work of Lois Weaver, and the monographs Fair Play – Art, Performance and Neoliberalism, Theatre & the City, Staging the UK, and the co-authored Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance. She co-edited Making Contemporary Theatre: International Rehearsal Processes and three special issues of Contemporary Theatre Review, on feminisms, the cultural politics of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, and globalisation. She has published several articles on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She is currently co-editing The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre Since 1945 and writing a monograph on how gendered inequalities in housing, care, and employment are manifested in and addressed by recent feminist performance in the UK. She co-edits the book series Theatre &, now with Bloomsbury (formerly Palgrave Macmillan), and releases open access interviews with performance makers on her podcast Stage Left (soundcloud.com/stage_left). https://www.qmul.ac.uk/sed/staff/harviej.html.
(Photo credit: Juju Vail)
Imanuel Schipper is a senior lecturer for Contemporary Performance & Dramaturgy at the Theatre Academy/Uniarts Helsinki and a scholar for Dramaturgy, Cultural and Performance Studies at the CityScienceLab at HafenCity University Hamburg. His research covers contemporary concepts of dramaturgy, performance studies and digital cultures, socially relevant functions of art and concepts of spectatorships. In his career as a Dramaturg (Theatre, Dance, Opera) he collaborated with William Forsythe, Jérome Bel, Luk Perceval and others. He has a long-term working relationship with Rimini Protokoll.
Publications include: – Rimini Protokoll 2000-2010 (2021, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König) – Rimini Protokoll: Staat 1-4: Phänomene der Postdemokratie (2018, Theater der Zeit)- Performing the Digital. Performance Studies and Performances in Digital Cultures (2017, in collaboration with Timon Beyes and Martina Leeker, transcript).
Andrew Todd is the Managing Director of Studio Andrew Todd since its creation in 2004 and has been in independent practice as an architect and theatre consultant since 2001.
He studied English at Cambridge where he was director of the touring European Theatre Group, and was awarded a high first for dissertation work on Tennyson. He qualified as an architect in 1995 at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Ivan Illich, Joseph Rykwert and David Leatherbarrow.
Upon graduating he moved to Paris where he gained professional experience in Jean Nouvel’s office; at the same time he was a correspondent for Giancarlo de Carlo’s review Space and Society. In 1996 he met the legendary director Peter Brook, who invited him to collaborate on a research project which became the book The Open Circle – Peter Brook’s Theatre Environments (published by faber and faber in 2003). Todd has subsequently published a second book of essays on scale, conviviality, domesticity and ecology: Common Sense – Building a World to Share (RightAngle International, 2016).
Andrew remains active as a researcher, writer and teacher.
He has written for The Guardian, Financial Times, Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Architectural Review, The Enthusiast, Tracés and Parametro, and has appeared as a commentator on BBC World News and Today, France Culture and France Inter.
He has taught and lectured throughout Europe, North America and in India and Japan. He is currently engaged in book-scale research projects on trees, on rhythm, on Shakespeare and on the theatre paradigm in contemporary architecture; he is a jazz drummer playing and recording at professional level.
He is familiar with many of the leading global creators in the performing arts and music, and works regularly with them on research, discussion, debate and design projects. His closeness to the sector and the possibility to listen intimately to its concerns deeply informs his creative work as an architect.
In 2011 he was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture Frederick Mitterrand, for his services towards the synthesis of the arts.