The Colonialists

Applied Mechanics

Trade School: PHL+Detroit

June 22 at 3pm and June 25 at 1pm at The University of the Arts (Gershman Y)

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You’ve gathered at the art gallery for a corporate event. Your hosts welcome you in. They are in business attire. They are friendly and efficient. They begin to suggest improvements to the gallery. They invite you to give them a hand in composing some formal recommendations and gently rearranging the space.  Before long, you are helping them stage a friendly-hostile takeover of the gallery.  The guests become the co-conspirators, and the hosts are not what they seem. Flamingos proliferate in every corner. Is this even an art gallery anymore, or just a monument to some invisible corporate vision? Part party, part invasion, part performance art, THE COLONIALISTS challenges all audience members to consider where they are and how they got there, and at whose pleasure they remain.

APPLIED MECHANICS has been making original immersive plays in Philadelphia and beyond for twelve years. From invasion plays, to site-specific performances, to whole invented worlds that arrive at your home in a box and over radio-waves, they are masters at making plays that surround you, transform the world around you, and include you in the story. 

In addition to THE COLONIALISTS, their current project OTHER ORBITS is a science fiction epic, unfolding in a series of 9 episodes, many of which can be experienced remotely. More information on the project can be found here.

We are a collective. We value cooperation. We value each person’s unique contribution to the work that we do together. As a collective we are feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, anti-normative, and pro-Black. For us these values mean the dismantling of all hierarchies and inequitable power relations. We make stories that aim to expand the possibility of liberation for all beings—beginning with ourselves. Our work together and the art that we make should uphold these values.

Photo: Courtesy of Applied Mechanics