What is the Interludes program?
Interludes are short performance pieces devised to be presented in the context of a gallery, museum exhibit or other cultural organization event. These Interludes build from the material exhibited by the host organization to amplify or provide commentary on the material. The Interludes are intended to add a dimension of experience that engages almost all the senses of the audience and builds an appreciation of the work exhibited that is memorable, emotional, and direct. In effect, one of the purposes of the Interludes is to break down the inevitable, if invisible, barrier between the audience and the material on exhibit, to, in a sense, bring it home to the audience.
How are Interludes created?
The work is created through a collaboration with the host organization and the individual performers and artistic director. Although performances are not improvisational, the work is built from an improvisational approach and draws upon the creative interactions of performers and materials. The performances can include song, dance, props, costuming and can use the architectural context of the exhibit space as an integral part of the performance. The artistic director working as writer/director develops a traditional narrative arc for the piece, and the performance is expected to make that narrative clear, but the means by which that is done happens in the process of creating the piece, unlike a traditional theatrical script with parts, characters, a script with lines to be learned, and stage direction led by the director of the play.
How can an Interlude performance help my organization?
Award-winning Bated Breath has produced several successful Interludes since undertaking this new approach, and has produced two of them in multiple venues and sites, each time making adjustments so that they can continue to present theater as an immediate, felt experience specific to the context of the performance. In addition to expanding the experience of theater to non-traditional venues, Bated Breath has served the museum community by providing new audiences and giving traditional museum audiences innovative ways to approach the art or historical materials on exhibit, thus deepening the visitor experience. In May 2015 Bated Breath received an Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations for their collaboration with The Amistad Center for Art & Culture entitled: Freedom: In 3 Acts. This piece has traveled the region playing in multiple venues such as the New Haven International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
One of the aims of Bated Breath is to grow the audience for theatrical performances by making them available to people in non-traditional theater settings. At the same time, the company is also seeking to expand the audiences for museums beyond the traditional demographic of the over 50 white middle class college educated, and demystify the museum experience for younger, non-traditional audiences. Past performances have served university students, families, and traditional museum goers.