Mugwumpin

About Mugwumpin

 

Mugwumpin is an award-winning San Francisco-based ensemble that devises collective live art. The ensemble is at the forefront of young American companies interested in creating a visual experience, questioning the primacy of text and narrative in theater. We value impactful sensory experiences, artistic risk, physicality, playfulness and precision. The visceral nature of Mugwumpin performances constantly reminds the audience that they are right here, right now, participating in something unique. We hope this sense of presence spills out the theater doors, building awareness, social-consciousness, curiosity and wonder.

The ensemble was formed in 2004 by Joseph Estlack, Denmo Ibrahim, and Christopher W. White, with the aim of reinvigorating live performance as a communal event. Mugwumpin, currently directed by Natalie Greene, is among a new generation of American companies interested in creating relational, experiential work that questions the primacy of text and narrative in theater.

Since 2004, Mugwumpin has created 13 full productions and many smaller scale performances, all Bay Area world premieres. Our first show, Rabbit Causes Dog, was named Best Play at the 2004 SF Fringe Festival. In 2008, super:anti:reluctant thrilled international audiences at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre. This Is All I Need was named a Best Play of 2010 by both the SF Weekly and SF Bay Guardian and successfully toured Europe in 2011.

In January, 2012, Future Motive Power, inspired by the life and work of inventor Nikola Tesla, performed at the historic Old Mint, selling out every performance. In March, 2013, The Great Big Also premiered in a co-production with Z Space; the immersive performance explored how the tradition of prophecy has shaped the American character. In 2018, the first production under Greene's direction, In Event of Moon Disaster, sold out a month-long run at Z Below.
 
Since 2010, Mugwumpin has also been creating the Occurrences series, performances created for non-theater spaces.  These works—one-time experiments that develop a theme or idea without a vast input of resources—invite audiences inside our working process. Occurrences have continued evolving to include audience engagement events, such as an open conversation with cultural critic Greil Marcus and a joint in-process showing with Theatre of Yugen. Occurrences blur the boundaries between artistic creation, audience development, and final product.

More Information

San Francisco, CA 94103
info@mugwumpin.org

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