Hope & Jeff
Co-Artistic Directors: HOPE CARTELLI and JEFF LEWONCZYK

Piper McKenzie was founded in 1998 when, upon graduating from Bard College, we decided to make good on four or so years of theater-focused liberal arts education by creating a DIY outlet for our burning, itching compulsion to create dangerously effervescent theatrical art. Years later, we continue, with grit and conviction, to tread the difficult but rewarding road of dramatic hardihood we embarked upon with our first serious production, Piper McKenzie Presents the Tinklepack Kids in the Great Yo-Yo Caper.

Originally working out of the Cocoon Theater in Columbia County, NY, we relocated to Brooklyn in 1999. After working at a series of East Village and Lower East Side spaces (especially the late Present Company Theatorium), our theatrical home since 2003 has been The Brick Theater in Williamsburg, where we also serve as associate directors.

The main thrust of our work consists of mock-epic movement theater and kinetic plays/musicals that abide at the intersection of physicality, comedy and mythology (both pop-culture and historical). Though our eclectic sensibility draws us into a wide variety of styles and subject matters, our prolific (not to say spastic) output has a few key throughlines:

  • Our shows share a common distaste for the mainstream naturalism/realism that characterizes much of contemporary American theatre.
  • They evince a belief in stylization, kineticism, and formal playfulness as a means of stretching theatrical boundaries.
  • They take seriously the notion of comedy as a philosophy of life.
  • They revel in the form and matter of both American pop culture and global mythological archetypes.
  • They embrace the inherently collaborative nature of the art form and constantly seek new forms and processes with which to involve their fellow artists in the creation of new work.
  • They’re fun, dammit.

Piper McKenzie is a living, breathing entity poised to grow and evolve over the coming years – thank you for being interested in our ongoing development!

- H. & J.

hope[at]pipermckenzie[dot]com
jeff[at]pipermckenzie[dot]com

Photo Credit: Stacia French