Leah Casper prefers the word “experiences” rather than performance art or immersive theater to describe her group’s new interactive work.
“It’s a bunch of mad creatives that come together and make performance experiences for the community,” said Casper, the executive artistic director of LuneAseas.
In its new work, the Fort Collins group combines old and new literature with music, dance, theater, fashion, visual art, and other forms of art to make the site-specific "experiences." Their latest project has scenes built around the Greek words for love.
Director Steve Dewey said a “performance experience” can come in many different forms.
“We love to include our audiences. I could use the word ‘immersive’ because our current show is very immersive. We're all from very diverse backgrounds. And because of that beautiful part of it, we've been able to create art that is not just one thing,” Dewey said. “It's not just dance. It's not just theater. It's not just music. It's a little bit of everything and it's always evolving, which is another beautiful part of it.”
Both Casper and Dewey say the word "community" is hugely important to the group.
“We don't just put on shows that you're watching; we love getting audience involvement. We also love to put a lot out in the community with certain workshops that we do,” Dewey said.
For this series of treasure hunts, LuneAseas has been activating old historic buildings since last summer. They include the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, the Mercury Cafe with the Denver Fringe, the Bug Theater in Denver, and Walnut Creek in Fort Collins.
This final performance experience is set in the three-level, 5,000-square-foot Fort Collins Masonic Temple. The event is a historic tour of the building, where audiences find performances and pieces of a puzzle that have been placed throughout the building along the way.
“I guess I'm always more of the sappy one here,” Dewey said. “I always like to reiterate that the arts, I truly feel, can heal the world. And a big aspect of LuneAseas is giving back to the world because what we get back from our audiences and from people is just tenfold. And we've watched that, we've watched that unfold in so many different ways, and it's been very magical and we want to continue to do it.”
Both Casper and Dewey invite audiences to approach the experience with an open mind.
“I think just come in and enjoy yourself,” Casper said. “Really just sit back and listen to what's happening around you and watch what's happening around you. It's gonna be fun.”
“7 Words for Love: A performance puzzle” includes ballet, experimental film, and sound to create an interactive historic tour and runs through Saturday, Feb 25th at the Masonic Temple in Fort Collins.
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