The Assembly is a multi-disciplinary collective of theater artists committed to realizing a visceral and intelligent theater for a new generation. Assembly members unite varied interests in service of creating wide-ranging, unabashedly theatrical and rigorously researched ensemble performances that address the complexities of our ever-changing world. Embracing collaboration as the core of the creative process, The Assembly develops text, action and design side-by-side in order to root our process, and our audiences, in a profound sense of community. This process was documented by Prof. Cindy Rosenthal in the cover essay of The Drama Review, Fall 2016: “Circling Up with the Assembly: A Theatre Collective Comes Of Age.”
Founded in 2008 by four graduates of Wesleyan University, The Assembly has been developing its distinctive collaborative style for a decade. The artistic leadership—writer Stephen Aubrey, director Jess Chayes, performer Ben Beckley, and designer Nic Benacerraf—strives to unify each of these four creative disciplines into a singular artistic vision, and each company member takes turns leading an artistic process. Holding firm to the belief that history repeats itself, The Assembly's projects look to the past to make sense of the present moment.
The Assembly has created ten original works, most recently SEAGULLMACHINE, a juxtaposition of Chekhov’s The Seagull and Heiner Müller’s hamletmachine, which premiered at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre in April 2018, and revived in a pared-down ‘lecture performance’ for a Wesleyan University conference series in February 2019. The company revived its production HOME/SICK, a passionate reimagining of the history of the Weather Underground (2011, New York Times & Backstage Critics’ Pick, “a cutting-edge young theater collective.”- NY Times), for a sold-out run at JACK, Brooklyn, in March 2017 in response to the 2016 election. The Assembly has performed at venues across New York such as The Incubator, The Prelude Festival, HERE Arts Center, and The Collapsable Hole, and toured to the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, Wesleyan University, the Edinburgh Fringe (Fringe First nomination) and the Philly Fringe. The company was awarded the 2015-2016 Archive Residency, and premiered I WILL LOOK FORWARD TO THIS LATER in April 2016 at the New Ohio Theatre.
The company runs educational workshops, taught in workshops at Wesleyan University, Columbia University, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and independently produced sessions in New York City and Los Angeles. Our training emphasizes intellectual curiosity, expert communication, visceral theatricality, and – above all – interdisciplinary collaboration. Students are led in exercises designed to create dynamic dramatic moments drawn from personal experience, physical actions, and academic and visual research. The Assembly's hope is to nurture the passion for collaboration and conversation of a new generation of theater makers.
The Assembly is a multi-disciplinary collective of theater artists committed to realizing a visceral and intelligent theater for a new generation. Assembly members unite varied interests in service of creating wide-ranging…