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Looking Back: Photos and Notes from 25 Years of Out There

This winter’s edition of Out There marks 25 years of the annual boundary-expanding performance festival. Although each season what is considered “out there” varies, consistent is a commitment to asking the difficult questions: What is performance? What are the relationships between audience and artist? How is a good story told? How can it be told differently? […]

The TEAM, Particularly in the Heartland, Out There 2008, Photo: Rachel Chavkin

The TEAM, Particularly in the Heartland, Out There 2008. Photo: Rachel Chavkin

This winter’s edition of Out There marks 25 years of the annual boundary-expanding performance festival. Although each season what is considered “out there” varies, consistent is a commitment to asking the difficult questions: What is performance? What are the relationships between audience and artist? How is a good story told? How can it be told differently? As Performing Arts curator Philip Bither puts it, “It’s a safe place for unsafe ideas.”

“Way back, someone had the brilliant idea to not call it a new theater festival or a performing arts series, just Out There,” Bither explains. “It allows us to sidestep labels that these artists have been actively defying for years.”

Below are collected images from Out There’s 25 seasons:

While in the spirit of reflection, this year, after each Out There performance, we are collecting memories and feedback from our audiences on a giant wall of Post-Its!
Out There Here

For more Out There stories, check out what theater professionals Young Jean Lee, Mark Russell, Wendy Knox, and Jeff Bartlett have to say!