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"When people dig into a the work of art, they no longer have to ask about its value because they know."
--Eric Booth, Arts Educator & Author

The Performance Project's Artists-in-Residence are selected because of the quality of their work and the open, welcoming nature of their process. These artists believe that creativity is a skill set that can be shared and learned. They have also demonstrated a commitment to restoring the notion that everybody has an artistic birthright to reclaim and, in doing so, the quality of everyone's everyday life can be improved.

We will work with these three resident companies over the course of a year so that we can deeply nurture both their creative work and their ability to connect and offer creative mentorship to the settlement staff and program participants. All three companies will rehearse and develop their work on-site, offering an in-process performance in January, and a complete production in the spring. All three will also engage in community engagement projects, in which they will work intensively with University Settlement participants and other community members on dynamic projects. The artists will also join Settlement staff in an organization-wide committee to nurture the arts throughout our program. Finally, the artists will be asked to blog about their experiences and to design and participate in events that will support deep reflection on the creative experiments happening within our community.

We are excited to announce our artists-in-residence for the 2011-2012 year:

Trusty Sidekick Theater Company
The Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL)
Kinematic Dance Theater

We are looking forward to a richly creative year with three diverse performance companies. To learn more about our Artists–in-Residence program and how to apply for 2012--2013 click here.

the 2011-2012 artists-in-residence

"At the birth of the word 'art' it was a verb that meant 'to put things together.' It was not a product but a process."-- Eric Booth, Arts Educator & Author


Trusty Sidekick is an emerging theater company dedicated to the creation of original, inventive and experimental work for young audiences and their families. The company’s work is multidisciplinary and its ensemble of collaborators includes artists trained in physical theater, puppetry, music, and dance. Recent productions include The Little One and the Sea of Letters, an original folktale told through puppetry and ensemble storytelling, and BEAST, an outdoor movement and sound-based performance installation for teens inspired by the writings of William Golding.

TRUSTY SIDEKICK’S Performance Project

(An original production created for audiences ages 2-5)
Have you ever wondered what happens to your shadow when you fall asleep? This original piece of theater will invite audiences on an exploration of the secret life of shadows, designed for the youngest of audiences (ages 2-5). Trusty Sidekick Theater Company will create a multi-sensory experience for the youngest of audiences and their caregivers that employs movement, live music, shadow puppetry and immersive staging to explore the mysterious and mischievous shadow behind each of us.

TRUSTY SIDEKICK’S Community Engagement Project
SHADOW PLAY will be developed in association with University Settlement’s Early Childhood programs. Children and their caregivers from Head Start, Early Head Start and Early Intervention, as well as other community members will attend a series of participatory workshops and actively shape the production in collaboration with the artists.

For more info visit


The Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is a performance collective formed in 2006 by librettist/director/video artist Esther Neff and composer/musician/sound artist Brian McCorkle. PPL's performance art projects are developed in collaboration with individuals from many different walks of life, through community workshops, interviews, and other engaged practices. Using homemade technological set-ups, multiple languages, video, interactive and participatory elements, field-recorded sound, and found materials, PPL operates across multiple disciplines and contexts. The group has performed its pieces in venues throughout New York City – everywhere from established theaters and universities to bars and parking lots -- as well as nationally and internationally.

PPL’s Performance Project

NATURE FETISH is a participatory performance project, conceived by director/playwright Esther Neff and composer/interactive artist Brian McCorkle, co-artistic directors of PPL. NATURE FETISH begins with five episodic evening events that pose the question, “What do we think nature is?” Join us to dialogue, experiment and create along with PPL. The final phase of this project is a production and public performance inspired by what arises from the five participatory episodes. This production will be presented at The Performance Project in Spring 2012, by the company and any community member who commits to this creative process.

PPL Community Engagement Project
PPL is engaging the public and the University Settlement community in the process of creating a professional performance piece titled NATURE FETISH. Anyone is welcome to attend any or all of the participatory episodic events that will, in multiple and creative ways, pose the question, “What do we think nature is?” Participants will be guided through activities, multidisciplinary art making, brainstorming and discussions. Anyone can help PPL develop the content of the performance and those who can commit to attending some rehearsals can join the company and perform in a professional show in the spring.
For more info visit :!/panoplylab


In 2010, Choreographer/Artistic Director Svea Schneider partnered up with Dance Educator/Dancer Kristina Martinez to found KINEMATIK Dance Theater. KINEMATIK fuses elements of urban vernacular dance such as House, Hip Hop, Breakdance and Voguing and integrates them with contemporary modern dance as a means to increase the visibility of urban dance in a concert stage setting. Through a synthesis of movement, visual imagery and the unusual use of props, KINEMATIK reconstructs the conventional, addressing common social stereotypes to engage its audience to rethink existing notions about urban and contemporary dance and culture.


Smoking Mirrors
Part performance, part art installation, Smoking Mirrors is created through collages of mirrors, platforms, enclosed spaces, and projections. The audience will move through the space to view performances which fuse movement, technology, imagery, and the unusual use of props, embarking on an exploration of what is real, symbolic, and imaginary in our fast-paced pixilated world. From the invention of the mirror to the iPhone, various devices have helped us create replicas of ourselves. As technology touches and transforms nearly every aspect of our daily life, the way in which we form and relate to these multiple identities has shifted to a fragmented compartmentalization of the individual experience. Has this shift given us more freedom and tools to define our own existence or has it, in fact, limited our capacity to simply exist?

KINEMATIK DANCE THEATER’S Community Engagement Project
Kinematik will work with several University Settlement programs – from youth programs to our senior center -- to establish dance companies, leading up to a Settlement-wide Dance Festival in the spring. Kinematik will act as creative mentors to staff and participants, exposing our community choreographers and dancers to their own creative process. Each company will be challenged to forge its own mission, style, repertoire, and marketing and fundraising strategy. The spring festival will be complete with guest judges from the NYC dance world and prizes.!/pages/Kinematik-Dance-Theater/147597058648574

184 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002  •  Phone (212) 674-9120