Help present Big Art Group’s THE PEOPLE – LES at Abrons Arts Center in May 2014

Big Art Group's THE PEOPLE ©_Wayne_Bund_Courtesy_of_PICA2


The People, an outdoor spectacle that combines live theater with large scale, real time video projection. The narrative, constructed from interviews with members of the local community who voice their thoughts about democracy, war, terrorism and justice as it relates to their personal histories, loosely recreates the story of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. Live theatrical reenactments are intercut with earlier, taped interviews, projected via large scale video onto the side of a building where the live play and video is viewed by the audience at street level.  Perceived as a kind of ‘living television,’ The People repurposes commonly used media strategies such as video clips, interviews and re-enactments, to explore the extraordinary forces reshaping contemporary government. It sculpts these developments into a performative action, that takes as its inspiration the foundational idea of community dialogue and the birth of democracy as theatrically embodied in the Oresteia. By inverting the established relationship between ‘mass-media’ and private exchange, it transforms the ‘town square’ into a public performance in which both performers and audience act out crucial roles in the construction of self-government.

Each individual city specific and site specific creation of The People is part of a larger cross-cultural work in which the video choruses from each location will be combined to create a window into the cultural understanding and variation of democratic public expression.  To date, three productions in the series have been presented: The People-Italy, which took place in Polverigi, Italy with the participation and support of Inteatro Polverigi in 2007, The People-Germany, at Theatre der Welt 2008 in Halle, Germany, The People-Austria at Szene Salzburg in 2010, The People – San Francisco with YBCA/Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at Z Space in 2011, and The People – Portland with the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in 2012


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Creation History:

upcoming 2014
THE PEOPLE – Lower East Side NYC (USA)

THE PEOPLE – Portland (USA)

THE PEOPLE – San Francisco (USA)

THE PEOPLE – (Salzburg, Germany)

Theatre Der Welt (Halle, Germany)

THE PEOPLE – Polverigi
Inteatro Festival (Polverigi, Italy)


Theatre Der Welt (Germany), Inteatro Festival (Italy), Szene Salzburg (Austria), YBCA/Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (USA), Z Space (USA), and Abrons Art Center (USA), Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (USA), Abrons Arts Center (USA)


MAP Fund 2009
New York State Council For the Arts

Residency Support:
Headlands Center For The Arts, MacDowell Colony


Caden Manson/Big Art Group would like to thank the following for their past generous support:

NYSCA New York State Council on The Arts, King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson & Henry Pillsbury, The Jerome Foundation and Performance Space 122’s Commissioning Program for New Works, The Wexner Center for the Arts in partnership with the National Performance Network (NPN), The Fund for US Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions, The DNA Project, a program of Arts International, made possible through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller MAP Fund 2004 & 2009, The Greenwall Foundation, Festival d’Automne, Theatre Garonne, Dr. and Mrs. Bernard Nelson, James S. Davison, Diane White, Anne Bronson Notnes, Harry Nelson, Valerie Hamby, Frances Sorenson, Ted Henigson, Emily V. Finlayson, Scott N. Ihrig, Lester Manson, Judith Tor, Ellen Fanning, Nancy Biddle, Jean Douglas, Alexander C. Hitz, Charles Hollerith Jr., Mary Crenshaw and Altour International, Ed Montgomery(Context Studios), In memorial Nancy Manson

Caden Manson would like to thank the following for their generous support:
The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Mid Atlantic Arts

Caden Manson and Jemma Nelson received a 2009 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.