Amanda details her journey in high school and college that led to the discovery of her love for theatre production. She gives details about the “No Peeking Theater,” which “takes away the element of sight by blindfolding the audience..” to create a very one of a kind theatrical experience…
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in theatre production?
I actually stumbled into Theatre production by happenstance. I had been an assistant director, follow spot operator, prop master in high school, etc., but I originally was interested in Musical Theatre Performance. That changed once I took design and production courses at the University of Oregon. I seemed to have a knack for design and Lighting Design in particular fascinated me. One day we were discussing color in light. They shined red and green light on a white wall and it made...yellow. I was hooked. It changed everything I knew about color and once I started working with the equipment and technology, I just had to finish my degree in Theatre Production with a focus on Lighting Design.
That was up until senior year at Kean University. I was about to graduate and for my final Capstone Presentation, I had to create a business model that would theoretically revolutionize theatre. So I imagined theatre without the most basic facet of what I create: visibility. And I combined it with the shortcomings of the theatre industry as a whole so I prioritized accessibility, universality, consumption and waste, and visceral provocation.
For those that do not know, explain to us what the, "No Peeking Theatre," is and the inspiration behind starting it.
No Peeking is a 'Blind' Theatrical Experience. We take away the element of sight by blindfolding the audience so they can experience an immersive show of sound, smell, touch, atmosphere, and even taste. This allows the audience to absorb the content of the show in the most honest, creative, and "tailor made" way possible for each individual audience member.
What experience/feeling do you want viewers/participants to leave the theatre with?
There are several objectives that each show has depending on the content of the show. The common thread for every show is that each audience member experiences their very own show inside of their minds. They have their own intimate reactions and are safe to do so by placing themselves in such a vulnerable position. Furthermore, it gives more of a perspective on how others experience things either through post show discussion, the realization that others are currently having a different but equally visceral experiences during the production, or even by audience members placing themselves in the roles they traditionally are only witnesses to in standard theatre.
What are some of the productions that have featured there? Are they all your original productions or do you feature different writers/stories?
The theatre company has actually premiered in several venues in New York and New Jersey. We have created 4 total original productions, each with original independent writers. These are produced one or multiple times and showcased at different venues. Some of the writers' works have been previously produced and some have written specifically for No Peeking Theatre and were presented for the first time by us.
What future plans do you have for yourself and the theatre?
I am so glad you asked! We have a very busy year up ahead! We are premiering a compilation of works entitled "IN LAK' ECH" (you are the other me) in May in Jersey City at Grassroots. We are still showcasing BLACKOUT in various venues in New Jersey and New York and will continue to do so as long as people wish to showcase it. No Peeking is also developing a "Artist's Mind" project that depicts the thoughts of famous artists as they are creating historical Masterworks. Lastly, we are working towards a long term goal of producing a traditional musical in the No Peeking Theatre structure.
How can those interested visit or even have their production featured at the theatre?
They can always look for Open Calls for work on our website, facebook page, twitter account and Instagram. Anyone interested in creating their own work as a No Peeking Production, can email me their full length work at NoPeekingLLC@gmail.com. We are always on the lookout for new work!