A new NYC-based theatre company, co-led by playwright Mona Mansour and director Scott Illingworth, will create new work using a method of rigorous research, improvisation, and discussion. Roughly modeled after London's Joint Stock Company, Society will see ensemble members act as active dramaturgs, generating material for a playwright via interviews, recordings, physical explorations, and open conversation.
Society's leadership team also includes co-founders and ensemble members Tim Nicolai and Erin Anderson.
Rounding out the ensemble are Brian Bock, Hana Chamoun, Hiram Delgado, Christy Escobar, Drew Florida, Annie Fox, Rebecca Frank, Leslie Fray, Meredith Garretson, Rosa Gilmore, Caroline Grogan, Grant Harrison, Keren Lugo, Simone Recasner, Joshua David Robinson, Hadi Tabbal, Alexandra Templer, Shay Vawn, Shpend Xani, and Emily Zemba.
Society is founded on the idea that designers, actors, the playwright, and a director are all a part of the creation process. Illingworth and Mansour first began working in this way as part of a commission at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program in 2011. Inspired by the method, they were created a company that could work year-round using the same methodology to generate new plays.
Society will host its inaugural fundraiser, Star Party: An Astrological Dance Bash, on February 15 at Brooklyn's Starr Bar. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at societytheatre.com.
Society's first production, Mansour's play Beginning Days of True Jubilation, will examine start-up culture this summer; further details will be announced. Mansour's Vagrant trilogy will have its Off-Broadway premiere at The Public Theater in March.