Theater Reconstruction Ensemble is an evolving collective of theater artists striving to reconstruct both classical and canonical forms of theatricality through the playful development of works over time.

Committed to a collaborative approach to theater making, TRE functions as a project-based ensemble of artists working under the artistic leadership of director John Kurzynowski, collectively examining each element of a theatrical text or tradition and creating new works that reflect the ensemble’s personal connection to the materiel being explored.


Founded in 2010 by director John Kurzynowski and sound designer Kate Marvin, TRE continues to expand upon a unique process of creative collaboration that engages its members in highly instinctual and intuitive modes of development. This process has led to the creation of each of the company's mainstage works, and continues to inspire other multidisciplinary artists through training and developmental programs.

For each reconstruction, an ensemble is formed based on the specific demands of the material or the particular goals of the project. To date, TRE has presented eight full productions - three company-devised works, three original plays written by Founding Resident Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, and two revivals of classic texts - featuring dozens of emerging and established artists from across the downtown theater community, and engaging thousands of audience members throughout New York.


At the very core of our company’s mission is a shared passion for the collective investigation of our theatrical roots. TRE is a home for the most curious and critical of theater artists; a safe and supportive environment for theater makers interested in a playful yet profound study of performance. By engaging in an ongoing process of intuitive research and experimentation, I believe that we are able to construct unique links between the past and the present. By deconstructing great canonical works, critically and playfully analyzing each separate element of those works, and then reconstructing the newly perceived elements of those works into original theatrical events, we are able to infuse our reconstructions with both comforting familiarity and disquieting originality. This manipulation of the past in order to confront our own contemporary anxieties has become the heartbeat of our process and the fundamental action in play during each of our productions.
— John Kurzynowski, Artistic Director

Promotional video filmed and edited by Jon Burklund of ZANNI Productions.