Open Program commenced in 2007 under the guidance of Mario Biagini, Associate Director of the Workcenter. The team is composed of 11 actors from around the world and closely cooperates with associated dramaturges and scholars who come and go for different periods of time. Open Program helps facilitate a shuttling between the inner aspects of the Workcenter’s research and greater society. Currently the team’s work aims to rediscover the living aspect of the poetic word as a tool for contact and action. In this sense, Open Program aims to re-discover the very nucleus of theatre: the moment of true contact between human beings.
Their research is multi-faceted: work on ancient vibratory Afro-Caribbean songs, the creation and exploration of structured sequences of actions, and experimentation with poetic texts of American poet, Allen Ginsberg, including musical compositions based on these texts. Another fundamental line of Open Program’s research focuses on songs from the Southern United States and how they serve as a bridge between African cultural heritage and modern Western music (blues, jazz, rock, pop).
The development of specific capacities in observation and analysis of performance work are necessary means to the artistic development of each member of Open Program.
For the first two years after its inception in 2007, Open Program conducted its research in laboratory conditions, meaning that the work was not presented to a broader public. During this time various guests, new friends as well as long-standing ones, came to see the work, either on their own request or on the Workcenter’s invitation. Beginning in 2009, the Open Program began presenting different aspects of its work publicly, in various contexts with distinct structures: during parties and social gatherings as Electric Party and Electric Party Songs, as a performance, I Am America; and as a concert Not History’s Bones – A Poetry Concert. Open Program’s research into the living aspect of the poetic word, into music and actions originating from poetry, is a continuation of the ongoing research of the Workcenter, yet taken in a new direction.