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Background photo: Laura E. Partain

mission

  Afterculture Theatre devises site-specific, immersive experiences in non-traditional spaces. Our goal is to help make central Kentucky an incubator of creative innovation, where the arts are accessible, relevant, and affordable to all. We are committed to the use of theatre as a catalyst for social justice, transformation, and human self-actualization. We believe interactive theatre nurtures community and shared understanding among our audiences, encouraging them to proactively engage with one another and the issues surrounding them, ultimately creating a better world.

"When does a session of The Theatre of the Oppressed end? Never — since the objective is not to close a cycle, to generate a catharsis, or to end a development. On the contrary, its objective is to encourage autonomous activity, to set a process in motion, to stimulate transformative creativity, to change spectators into protagonists. And it is precisely for these reasons that the Theatre of the Oppressed should be the initiator of changes the culmination of which is not the aesthetic phenomenon but real life."

-Augusto Boal

who we are

Afterculture Theatre was co-founded in 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky by Taylor Schulz and Samuel Lockridge. 

 

Samuel Lockridge
Creative Director
BA Philosophy

Photo: Laura E. Partain
 

Taylor Schulz
Artistic Director
BFA Acting

Photo: Dennis Kwan
 

what we do

Site-specific and immersive theatre has enjoyed great success in larger cities around the world, but we see no reason smaller communities, such as our native Lexington, cannot become equally innovative creative hotspots. Excellent storytelling does not have to take place in large concert halls – it can happen in a house, an abandoned factory, a forest, or the street. But wherever a story makes its habitat, the space itself is crucial to facilitating a relationship between the audience and the story. It can make the difference between the audience feeling personally invested in the experience, or totally apathetic. Theatre is much more powerful, visceral, and pertinent when it is indigenous to a specific space, and it is for this reason that we approach each piece more as a site-specific instillation than a show, just as easily reproduced here as there.

We draw inspiration from the Guerilla Theatre movement of the 1970’s, from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, from the Happenings of the 1960’s, and from the new frontiers explored by modern companies such as Punchdrunk, Third Rail Projects, and Quantum Theatre. 

We create tangible, living experiences for our audiences. We do not grant them permission to be passive observers. They are not meant to sit, look away, fall asleep, flip through programs, look at phones, or daydream. They are placed in the thick of the action, allowed to touch, explore, and choose what and whom to follow. We reacquaint audiences with their inherent freedom as willful agents in the universe – a freedom crucial to them both within and outside the walls of our productions.

Afterculture Theatre is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.