When asked to describe the PUSH Physical Theatre, co-founders Darren and Heather Stevenson can only approximate the group as “a cross between fine art, sculpture and ‘The Matrix.'” The Stevenson’s have even gone as far as to characterize the dynamic dance-theater company as “regular theatre…but more painful.” On Friday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m., the HWS campus will host the revolutionary group in the Dance Department’s Winn-Seeley Gym-Theater.
Founded in Rochester in 2000, PUSH represents the Stevensons’ desire to “push” the boundaries of conventional theatre through physical feats and exceptional storytelling. Rather than relying on their trained movement vocabulary, the Stevensons believe that each performer should bring his or her unique life experiences to the stage. Although PUSH performers have a solid technical and acting base, they incorporate any movement that speaks to the audience.
PUSH will be in residency on the HWS campus for two days teaching classes in the Dance and Theatre Departments and rehearsing in the Winn-Seeley Gym-Theater with a talented HWS technical crew. For more information about the residency classes, rehearsals and performance, visit to the Dance Department’s website at http://www.hws.edu/academics/dance/events.aspx.
The company has also developed arts-in-education programs for schools across the region. As a result, the Stevensons have served on the Board of Directors for Young Audiences Rochester. In addition, Heather directs a popular summer and after-school program for children called PUSH Pins, and Darren runs an annual Summer Intensive for adults that attracts students from all over the world.
PUSH has toured the United States, England and Mexico, and has been profiled on PBS and NPR. They received the Anton Germano Dance Award in 2009 from the “Community of Color” Black History Month World Culture Celebration, and the 2009 Performing Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester.
Tickets are $5.00 for general admission and HWS students get in free. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the concert. For more information contact Cadence Whittier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-781-3949.