Co-Artistic Directors Matthew Maguire and Susan Mosakowski founded Creation Production Company in New York City in 1977.
The company’s purpose is to generate innovative forms of theatre through experiments with language, new music theatre, and explorations of political issues, seamlessly integrating the visual arts, music, dance, technology, and architecture.
Creation has produced forty-nine original works. The work has garnered several awards including two OBIE’s, a Bessie, and numerous commissions and fellowships from the NEA, NYSCA, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and many foundations, including the Rockefeller and Jerome Foundations.
The company's first production, The Seven Deadly Elements, premiered at La MaMa E.T.C. It was based on an adaptation of Max Ernst's collage novel, Une Semaine de Bonté, and explored collage as a technique for contemporary performance. The fusion of visual arts and theatre continued in Untitled (The Dark Ages Flat Out), a play set in a landscape of objects and boxes inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell, presented by the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Architecture and performance soon followed, merging in The Rotary Notary and His Hot Plate, an adaptation of Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass—in collaboration with architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio—presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in such site-specific works as the Bessie Award winning The Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo in the Anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge. Works for the moving image led to choreographic explorations set within the video-generated futuristic landscapes of White/Black and The Bachelor Machine. Excursions into opera took place at Pepsico Summerfare where the company deconstructed Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and into chaos theory for the sci-fi opera, Chaos, presented at The Kitchen. New works have also been generated by reinventing classics, such as The Inferno adapted from Dante, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from the film classic of Robert Weine, Phaedra from Racine, and Nighttown, inspired by Joyce’s Ulysses.
Creation productions have been presented at many theatres and museums including: La MaMa E.T.C., Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages, The Kitchen, The Flea Theater, HERE Arts Center, Dance Theatre Workshop, Dixon Place, P.S. 122, Theatre for the New City, The Ohio Theatre, New City Theater (Seattle), Southern Theatre (Minneapolis), The Illusion Theatre (Minneapolis) Padua Playwrights’ Festival (LA), Long Beach Opera (CA), The Painted Bride (Philadelphia) The Baltimore Theatre Project, The Walker Art Center, The Washington Project for the Arts (DC), The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Le Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Architecture Museum of Basel, De Melkweg in Amsterdam, and others.
Creation's accomplishments include forty-nine stage plays, two plays for radio, two full-length video works, European tours, numerous U.S. tours and residencies, two records, and publication of plays and theoretical writing in Sun & Moon Press, Padua Playwrights Press, Performing Arts Journal, TheatreForum, V.R.I., Das Poetische ABC, Midgård, Manchester University Press, The Drama Review, and NoPassport Press. The artistic directors have taught at Fordham University, Yale, Columbia, New York University, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Playwrights' Center, The School of Visual Arts and Deer Island Prison, among numerous other institutions. Residencies have been as far-flung as Ireland’s Tyrone Guthrie Center and Australia’s Adelaide Festival.
Collaborators have included Vito Ricci, Richard Curtis, David Alton, Karla Barker, Michelle Elliman, Michael Ryan, Anne Hemenway, Jennifer McDowall, Pat Dignan, Jeffrey M. Jones, Mac Wellman, Glenn Branca, Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, Daniel Levy, Greg Pliska, Bruce Barthol, Elizabeth Diller, and Ricardo Scofidio.
|Creation Production Company’s work is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.