What is contemporary performance? And how does contemporary performance relate to the larger theatrical canon? How do we as contemporary performance artists engage critically and intuitively with theatrical traditions of the past? What roles do we play in the deconstruction, creative investigation, and eventual reconstruction of culturally cemented theatrical norms? And how do we collectively create new works in response to those norms and traditions?

By continually asking ourselves these questions while actively workshopping and developing new works of devised theater, we at TRE have created a process of creative collaboration intended to challenge traditional theatrical practices while simultaneously honoring their contributions to the development of our own contemporary performance practices. By establishing a series of practical, task-based exercises and activities, we've been able to investigate our own individual relationships to canonical texts and traditions while collectively generating original material in response to those relationships.

Through a dedicated training intensive led by Artistic Director John Kurzynowski, chemis|TRE participants are taken through this very process, resulting in an exploration of our company's unique take on collaboratively generating material. Geared towards a wide range of theater artists, this intensive offers tools for performers, directors, designers, playwrights, and performance artists looking to further expand their notions of theatrical practice as a means of investigation and exploration.


Being invited to participate in chemis|TRE was honestly a pivotal moment in my development as a theater artist, and has had a major influence on my toolbox. TRE’s tools of communal deconstruction, reconstruction, analysis and invention are time-tested and indispensable. Its usefulness in drawing a group together to evolve a singular, shared, complex approach to a piece is magical. I came out of chemis|TRE feeling more creative, more inspired, and with a broader horizon of possibilities in my work than ever before. In the years since, I haven’t developed a single full production without spending a rehearsal pirating something from the work I did at chemis|TRE. I recommend it to anyone wondering how it’s possible to create something uniquely yours in the theater.
— Jake Beckhard, 2014 participant
The intensive was a creative jumpstart and a transparent introduction into TRE’s way of creating unique, genre-out-smarting theatre. From day one, we were challenged to create new work based on unexpected prompts, culminating in a notebook-full of new investigations of our source material. Each exercise brought new insights to the text and to the ensemble, and TRE made us all feel deeply connected and touchy-feely, the way you hope to feel after a well-curated workshop. Get your ass over to chemis|TRE if you want to connect with a new community of daring artists, and challenge yourself to create outside your comfort zone.
— Ben Katz, 2015 participant


The chemis|TRE intensive was formed in 2014. Past participants include Ali Andre Ali, Ian Axness, Jake Beckhard, Emma Clark, Erin Daley, Cary Gitter, Lindsay Griffin, John Gutierrez, Ryan Hudak, Ben Katz, Andrew Lorimer, Julia Levine, Grace McLean, Gili Nir, Ryan Pater, Piper Patterson, Nathaniel Peart, Linh Valerie Pham, Linda Tardif, Zachary Tomlinson, James Wyrwicz, and Marielle Young.


We are not currently accepting applications for chemis|TRE. Please check back at a later date for more information regarding our next workshop.