online headquarters for otherworldly dance theatre created by Sam Tower + Ensemble
PAST WORK OF SAM TOWER + ENSEMBLE
I'd rather choke than be a quitter
I'd rather choke than be a quitter was created in collaboration with art collective Plant Me Here and electronic musician Shakai Mondai, who played live sound for the performance.
Presented March 4 - 8, 2016, the show featured a companion gallery installation from visual artist Sam Whalen, featuring her beautifully grotesque visual expressions on plastic, paper and fabric that directly influenced the physical material.
"I’d rather choke than be a quitter is an étude of growth and decay. It is momentary and eternal. A portal to a more magical world. It's our obsession with bending space and time. It lives underneath layers of grotesque brush strokes. It floats away on a dreamy electronic sound score. It throws itself into the air, expecting to never come down again. It’s the song and dance of our inevitable departure."
I'd rather choke than be a quitter was originally commissioned by Exquisite Corpse Company in Brooklyn, NY for a performance at Redwood Studios in 2015. The piece was expanded to a full length exhibition in 2016. Work in progress excerpts were shown at FringeArts Scratch Night and Nice & Fresh in Mt. Airy.
Directed by Sam Tower Created/Performed by Emma Arrick, Tess Kunik, Caitlin Dagle Costume Design by Emilie Krause Live Music by Shakai Mondai Gallery Exhibition by Sam Whalen Lighting Design by Sam Tower and James Haro Stage Managed by James Haro Front of House by Anne Ketcham and Hannah Van Sciver
"Under neon blue and purple lights, the three dancers lashed out in fleshy ragesick elaborations not so far removed from the raw, twisted emotionality of Whalen’s deconstructed characters. The attempt to form a graceful movement was always at odds with the need to vomit. And there was plenty of vomiting. [...] It plays like a strange, unpredictable, colorful music video." -- Julius Ferraro, PHINDIE
images by Hannah Van Sciver, Emilie Krause
A short companion film to I'd rather choke than be a quitter
"One reckless evening draws an aspiring novelist into an intoxicating world where a cynical private eye and a mysterious publisher struggle to erase their past. Three hardboiled heroines are swept up in a twisted exploit of power, betrayal, and manipulation. Fantasy trumps reality in this hallucinogenic crime drama gone awry."
901 Nowhere Street explores multi-dimensional female protagonists through the lens of film noir, challenging the woman’s role in a traditionally male-dominated genre. Gable’s sharp-witted script, teamed with Tower’s surreal staging, transports the audience to a sultry underworld where the Id rules all.
MacLaughlin's haunting live guitar score blends with hot jazz ballads of 1940’s to create a modern, female-centric interpretation of the timeless detective drama.
Directed by Sam Tower Written by Jeremy Gable Featuring + Co-Created by Emilie Krause, Anna Szapiro, Merri Rashoyan, Lauren Tuvell, Caitlin Dagle
Music Composition and Performance by Alec MacLaughlin Lighting Design: Andrew Thompson Sound Design: Aziz Naouai Set & Costume Design: Sam Tower Associate Costume Design: Emilie Krause Installation Design: Kevin Meehan
Stage Manager: Terry Mittelman Assistant Stage Manager: Caitlin Dagle Front of House: Anna Ketcham, Arianna Gass
images by Plate3.com
The Road to Ermine's
A short companion film to 901 Nowhere Street created with filmmaker Tess Kunik of Highest Tower Productions.
The Road to Ermine's is a neo-noir dreamsicle that functions as a prologue to the full play, as well as a character study of the women of Nowhere Street.
Conceived by Tess Kunik, Sam Tower and Jeremy Gable
Shot and Edited by Tess Kunik
Featuring Emilie Krause, Merri Rashoyan, Anna Szapiro, Lauren Tuvell, Emma Arrick
Music by Alec MacLaughlin
The Travelersexamines our connection to other bodies in both public and private space. Inspired by a wide range of source material (photography, charcoal drawings, poetry) we explored the notion that, for a moment, we fall in love with everyone we see.
A composition for four performers, The Travelers explores the fleeting overlap of our lives together through repetitive, calculated movement, missed opportunities for duets, cyclical memories, and poetic reflection on the the mysterious inner workings of our bodies.
The Travelers was presented at Christ Church Neighborhood House from February 6 - 9, 2013
Directed by Sam Tower
Presented by Hybridge Arts Collective
Created/Performed by Anna Szapiro, Jeremy Gable, Adam Kerbel, Sarah Van Auken
Sound Design by Sam Tower and John Kolbinski
Lighting Design by Angela Coleman
Stage Managed by Arianna Gass
"...this ensemble piece takes you through a whirlwind of emotion using pedestrian movements, hurling glasses of water, and some sweet dance moves reminiscent of the 80′s. Be sure to keep your eye on Adam Kerbel, as there are some leaps in there you don’t want to miss." -- Joy Mariama Smith
images by Plate3.com
The 5th Floor
The 5th Floor is an immersive play by 5 performers for 5 audience members inside a 5-story elevator.
This 20 minute show was performed back-to-back 6 times within 2 hours. The 5th Floor ran from June 15 - 17, 2012 at the Foremost Building in Queen Village as part of SoLow Festival.
Directed by Sam Tower Produced by Julian Karlen Created/Performed by Allison Caw, Jeremy Gable, Amanda Kearns, Jonah Patten, Joe Matyas
"The 5th Floor artists showed arresting attention to detail, wielding a plethora of props and sporting impeccably realized costumes and makeup, right down to the red lipstick flamboyantly smeared in a reckless kiss. [...] Actors Allison Caw, Amanda Kearns, Jeremy Gable, Joe Matyas and Jonah Patten made a fearlessly committed ensemble at very close quarters." -- Alaina Mobaso, BROAD STREET REVIEW