Do you have what you need? Do you need what you have?
With boxes stacked to the ceiling, physical theatre artist Geoff Sobelle transforms Stage 4 into a storage facility of epic proportions. Breaking, buying, finding, fixing, trading, selling, stealing, storing, and becoming buried under…a world of things. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this immersive performance-installation unpacks our relationship to the stuff we cling to and the crap we leave behind.
Runtime: 90 minutes with no intermission.
The Object Lesson is generously underwritten
at Studio Theatre by Susan and Dixon Butler.
Geoff Sobelle is a theatre artist dedicated to the “sublime ridiculous.” He is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43, a renegade absurdist outfit devoted to creating original actor-driven performance works. Using illusion, film and outdated mechanics, R43 creates surreal, poetic pieces that look for humanity where you least expect it and find grace where no one is looking. R43’s shows include all wear bowlers (Innovative Theatre Award, Drama Desk nomination), Amnesia Curiosa, machines machines machines machines machines machines machines (Obie Award – design), and Elephant Room (commissioned by Center Theatre Group). His independent work includes Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl and The Object Lesson (commissioned by Lincoln Center 3). He has been a company member of Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company since 2001. All of his work to date has premiered at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival before touring nationally and internationally. As a teacher, Geoff has led workshops all over the world in devised theatre creation, physical approach to character, clown and “jeu.” He is a core teacher at the Pig Iron School in Philadelphia (APT) and is on the faculty at Bard College. His work has been supported by the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the Wyncote Foundation, USArts International, the Princeton Atelier, the MAP Fund and the New England Foundation for the Arts. He is a 2006 Pew Fellow and is a 2009 Creative Capital grantee. He is a graduate of Stanford University, and trained in physical theatre at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France.
David Neumann is a director, choreographer, dancer and actor. He studied theatre at SUNY Purchase and danced with several choreographers including Doug Elkins, Jane Comfort, Sally Silvers and Doug Varone. As his work expanded into theatre, opera and film, he worked with artists including Hal Hartley, Laurie Anderson, Peter Sellars, Lee Breuer, JoAnne Akalaitis, and Robert Woodruff. Neumann founded his own company, the Advanced Beginner Group in 2001, with work presented at PS122, New York Live Arts, Central Park SummerStage, Celebrate Brooklyn, Symphony Space and The Kitchen. Neumann and company have been honored with four Bessie Awards, a 2009 Creative Capital Grant, a 2011 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award for Dance and a 2014 NDP Production Grant from New England Foundation for the Arts for his latest work I Understand Everything Better, which premiered at Abrons Arts Center last April.
Steven Dufala, who created the scenic installation, is a multidisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. While he works primarily in collaboration with his brother Billy, he also works on as many other projects in as many other fields as possible, being drawn in particular to works that explore overlapping concerns of various disciplines. He makes drawings, clothes, furniture, prints, music, sculpture, photos, books, and thinks an awful lot about what all these things have in common and what on earth people do with them. Steven has been working intermittently with dance and theatre as a designer for about 15 years, and over this time has worked with Pig Iron Theatre Company, BalletX, anonymous bodies, Geoff Sobelle and others. With his brother Billy, he received an Obie Award for design with rainpan 43’smachines machines machines machines machines machines machines. Steven and Billy co-teach sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and are represented by the Fleisher/Ollman gallery in Philadelphia. Their work is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the West Collection and many private collections.