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Christian Fleming – Chasing Andy Warhol


    CHASING ANDY WARHOL, a new, devised immersive production exploring the mystery and psychology of Andy Warhol’s curation of his social image, emerged as an artistic innovation out of the health and safety requirements of the COVID pandemic. One of the few live theater experiences in New York City when it first was created and workshoped, it was immediately clear that invention and a new method of visual storytelling were demanded as the audience “chased” multiple “Warhols” through 17 locations over two miles in the iconic Warhol stomping grounds: the East Village. The creative process for this show was unique in that the chosen locations inspired the development of the scenes and choreography rather than the more usual circumstance where the story and script inspire the design. New York City and iconic areas of Warhol’s life became a true design partner. When CHASING ANDY WARHOL was designed there was no script, nothing was permanent, and as the peoples’ reactions and behaviors organically evolved what the design could be and how it could best serve the experience. It was a process of distillation as over six months’ iterations would be teched, tested, and then re-devised and redesigned. It was invigorating to design and then step away and re-approach. Like this production, the future of theater design will benefit from fluid thinking and a process of artistic incubation to ensure the provocative ideas and feelings evoked by performances are experienced by the audiences regardless of being in a conventional theater. The production created a thought-provoking parallel between the persona Warhol used to mask his authentic self and how we similarly control and curate our own public image through social media, especially during the COVID lockdown. The culminating scene in particular solidified this central dramatic question depicting Andy Warhol in the afterlife eating a rotisserie chicken while live feed projection surrounds him and the audience with an ever-updating deluge of live posts hash-tagged Andy Warhol. CHASING ANDY WARHOL leads to the inescapable conclusion that we are not chasing Warhol, instead we are Andy Warhol curating our own social image for the world to consume.

    Production Credits

    Various locations and streets in the Lower East Side of Manhattan

    Playwright – Mara Lieberman

    Director – Mara Lieberman
    Choreographer – Rachel Leigh Dolan
    Choreographer – Rachelle Rak

    Scene Design – Christian Fleming
    Scene Design
    – Meg McGuigan
    Costume Design – Christopher F. Metzger
    Lighting Design – Joyce Liao
    Projection Design – Mark Van Hare
    Sound Design – Mark Van Hare

    Assistant Scene Design – Jerry Schiffer
    Scenic Artist – Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil – Puppet Design

    Production Stage Manager – Emily Kluger
    Stage Manager – Delaney Jordan
    Studio Manager – Michael Hicks

    Actors Featured in Photos

    Adam Lawrence
    Jake Malavsky
    Brandon P. Raines
    Alessandra Ruiz
    Annika Rudolph
    Antonia Santangelo
    Fé Torres
    Katherine Winter

    Photographer – Jenny Anderson