USITT-USA National Exhibition: Call for submissions. Deadline July 14,2014
PQ 2015
Causing Ripples in the Deep Currents of the American Dreamscape

“I want you to move out of the shallows into the deep current. I want you to realize that we are beginning to see that America and Americans are not in the least like what we thought they were. I want you to learn the height of perception – the contagious excitement – out of which all great work is created. I want you to learn to see life dynamically – to see it in motion, to see it in action. I want you to learn to respond to the livingness that is on each floating instant of time. To become aware, and always more aware, of that livingness until at last you can know what Plato calls, the madness of those possessed by the Muses. More than anything else, I want you to be true to your dreams of theater. Be true to your dreams.” 
– Robert Edmond Jones                                                                                    


Vortex designed to hold the hurricane of human emotions

The main theme of the Prague Quadrennial 2015 is Shared Space: Music, Weather, Politics 2011 – 2015. PQ 2015 invites participating countries to explore design as a performative environment that influences not only spatial relations of elements of performance but also determines mental relations (narrative, social, past or future) as well as relations between the performance and audience in contemporary performance.
The artistic leadership of the 2015 PQ have challenged National Exhibition Curators to revisit the power of theatre/performance and imagination and discover the powers and responsibilities of design that use, yet exceed the theatrical.
National Exhibition curators have been given a choice between three themes for their exhibit; Weather, Music, or Politics. PQ 2015 plans to exhibit presentations in multiple spaces in the very center of Prague. Visitors are encouraged to explore thespecifics of each locale in connection with the city both when working on their country’s presentations and when exhibiting in the specific spaces in Prague.
The Artistic Director and Curators for the USITT-USA National Exhibition have chosen Weather for the theme of the 2015 exhibit.
Weather is an apt choice as a metaphor for performance. It doesn't discriminate, and crosses all economic, ethnic, and social lines. Weather has the power to affect and/or alter lives, both for the good and otherwise. It has the ability to connect distant lands and varied regions. Weather also connects to the other PQ themes of Music and Politics. Weather screams and whispers. It is rhythmic, percussive and melodic.  Politics are inherent in weather can be found from the debate on global warming to the response time and funding of FEMA. The beauty and power of weather is the stuff of a designer’s dreams.
How to Participate:
The exhibition is open to all designers and performances originated in the United States between June 2011 and June 2015. Deadline for submissions isJuly 14, 2014. Curators will announce designs chosen for inclusion in the exhibition by July 28, 2014. There is a $30.00 non-refundable entry fee for each designer that submits material to the curators for consideration.  

The USITT-USA design and curatorial teams are working on creating an interactive experience for spectators that reflects the dynamics and diversity of American performance and celebrates performance design as art. The USITT-USA National Exhibit will be an environment that goes beyond documenting the art of design and becomes a transformative performance experience.

The exhibit should transport viewers from the climate of everyday real life into a world of surprising and unexpected possibility where extremes are the rule. In this world, the forecast of future events depends on the currents surging through the viewer’s minds and engaging all of the viewer’s senses and affecting his/her interaction with their surroundings.


We are seeking works that create a shared experience where everything converges into a tempest of shared imagination, and where ideas ride the currents from coast to coast.

We are interested in works that evoke a multiplicity of deep feelings like the ever-changing weather.  Works where nothing lasts for long, and everything is subject to constant change and where the audience and the performers are part of the same whole.

  • The work presented will be a celebration of collaboration and should feature all aspects of the performance/production.
  • The submission deadline is July 14th, 2014.

US Exhibit Curatorial Vision

“We think of the various branches of the theatre as separate entities. We think of a play as a manuscript and not as theatre. Yes, we do! We think of a stage setting as a set and not as theatre. We think of lighting in terms of a remarkable electric console and not in terms of theatre. We cannot seem to grasp the conception that all these departments are organic parts of an organic whole.”
Robert Edmond Jones

As we, the Curatorial Team, approaches curating the US Exhibition for the 2015 PQ, this document is meant to serve as a tool to determine the best work to represent the diverse national design identity of the US as it relates to performance. While these points will assist with the prioritization of the work selected for inclusion in the exhibition, it is not wholly prescriptive. The exhibition design itself asks for an ambitious connective approach that reflects the entirety of these points developed from the original curatorial statement, and bridges the ideas which each production selected exemplifies from this list. 
We are looking for theatre, opera, dance, site specific, performance art etc. projects that are created with understanding that the world of performance is a living breathing whole organism. We are looking for works that strive to create an environment that offers these kinds of immersive experiences:

   Exploratory – forecasting – seeks new worlds/weather maps of perfor

o   By exploring new creative use of technology where humanness of performance is the leading factor not the cold mechanics of 
o   Ventures into new and challenging spaces/ sites

o   Creatively challenges conventions of performance, moves performance into a new realm

o   Create a performance experience which goes beyond the walls/time of a performance

    Transformative – front disturbances – immersive

o   Offer a moment of heightened life experience in an environment that is living breathing organism and all particles matter

o   Consider the audience presence in the over all world building of the aesthetic approach

o   Push the boundaries of theatrical space

o   (Re) develop performance source material to reflect a specific space and time in which the work is seen

o   Make real or Reify the audience as a group, not just individuals sharing space

o   Psychologically or physically require audience participation at any scale

o   Be noted for it’s capacity to intrinsically affect an audience and their emotional, critical and/or social thinking

 Urgent – The Storm Front

o   Actively seek to inspire and/or enact social change

o   Focus on imagining the future of America

o   Address widely and immediately relevant social conversations/issues

o   Capture a sense of immediate social urgency and relevancy


The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space is the largest performance design event in the world; it is often described as the Olympics or World Fair for performance designers. In recent times, the PQ has served as a meeting point for artists from every continent, artists whose traditions and professional lives might not otherwise converge. By exhibiting thousands of designs from dozens of countries, and by bringing together designers, directors, students, as well as the general public, the PQ provides an unprecedented exchange of ideas that goes well beyond the narrow confines of theatrical design and style. With four major categories of exhibits; National, Thematic, Architectural and Student, the PQ has been a major factor in shaping the direction of world theatre and live performance for the past forty years.
The PQ will be held in Prague, Czech Republic in June 2015. The USITT curators and designers have begun work conceptualizing an exhibit that is responsive to the themes of the 2015 PQ, as established by Prague.