Arts & Culture

Torn Space selected to represent the United States at the Prague Quadrennial

Torn Space and its team of designers have been selected to represent the United States at the Prague Quadrennial. The company’s 2015 production “They Kill Things” will be featured in the Professional/Transformation Exhibit in Prague in July 2019.
Torn Space was founded in 2003 by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola. The company presents original performances, including site-specific works and WNY premieres of internationally-recognized, contemporary plays. Torn Space is located in Buffalo’s Historic Polonia District within the the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle.

After reviewing nearly 300 submissions, Torn Space along with a select group of other companies has been chosen to represent the United States at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial.

The Prague Quadrennial is the largest performance design event in the world; it is often described as the Olympics or the Venice Biennale for performance designers.

Torn Space’s selection highlights the work the company has been doing within the field of site-based performance and in particular the recent work at Silo City. In a statement to Prague Quadrennial, Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola, co-founders of Torn Space said:

Ultimately site-based work is about giving the audience an experience that they participate with; bringing them to different spaces, providing curated vantage points, while presenting them with images that are both collective and self-enclosed. It’s about creating a collective ritual that looks to the ancients while being fixed in the present tense.

The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space was established in 1967 to bring the best of design for performance, scenography, and theatre architecture to the front line of cultural activities to be experienced by professional and emerging artists as well as the general public.

The Prague Quadrennial has been a major factor in shaping the direction of world theatre and live performance for the past four decades (

The exhibit will initially be displayed at the USITT Conference & Stage Expo (Louisville, KY) in March of 2019, before traveling to Prague in June of that year.

The work on display is a testament to the highly skilled designers and artists working with Torn Space. The design work is credited to:

Director, Writer: Dan Shanahan
Director, Writer: Melissa Meola
Managing Director: Marisa Caruso
Lighting Designer: John Rickus and Carlie Todoro-Rickus
Marketing Design, Installation Artist: Tim Stegner
Sound Designer: Justin Rowland, Eric Burlingame, Avi Amon
Costume Designer: Jess Wegrzyn
Video Designer: Brian Milbrand
Installation Artist: Frank Napolski, MJ Myers
Choreographer: Alexia Buono

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News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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