Andrew Schneider is mostly interested in how humans telling stories about ourselves to each other can make us better at being humans. And how much the second law of thermodynamics and grief have in common.
He is an OBIE award-winning, Drama Desk nominated performer, writer, and interactive-electronics artist creating original works for theater, dance, sound, video, and installation since 2003. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Schneider creates and performs original performance works, builds interactive electronic art works and installations, and was a Wooster Group company member (video/performer) from 2007-2014.
“We live in an increasingly synthetic world of our own making. In the name of more and faster connection, we are animals that have separated ourselves from the actual world around us. The work I make is highly technical, but It is not about the technology. I am more interested in the application of the technology and how it can bring us closer together, shake us from the synthetic, and offer a genuine experience to every audience member’s consciousness, rather than just watching something “over there”. I am interested in how curating meaningful time-based experiences can lead to more meaningful human-to-human interaction. If theater at its core is humans telling stories about ourselves to each other, then I hope it is in the service of getting better at being human. This is why I make the work that I make. This is also how I try to make the work that I make – with an incredible team of value-aligned recurring collaborators who are interested not just in the work of making experience, but in a vigorous interrogation of what power structures exist in the rooms in which we make and how to systemically try to make change in inequitable systems.”
On March 12 of 2020 Andrew premiered the choreographic work »remains« commissioned by the Sasha Waltz & Guests company at Radialsystem in Berlin, Germany. Only one show was able to happen before the pandemic shut down the theaters in Berlin. The remount occurred at the end of August 2021.
During the pandemic Andrew focused on demonstrating in the streets, organizing for social justice, and a time-based narrative immersive light and sound installation dealing with grief, loss, and presentness, commissioned by The Onassis Foundation, and The Brown Arts Institute set to premiere in NYC in 2023. The in-development title is N O W I S W H E N W E A R E .
Andrew’s original performance work in NYC includes NERVOUS/SYSTEM (2018 – BAM Next Wave); AFTER (2018 – Under the Radar, The Public Theater); YOUARENOWHERE (2015 OBIE award, 2016 Drama Desk nom.); DANCE/FIELD (2014 – Dance Roulette); TIDAL (2013 – River to River); and WOW+FLUTTER (2010 – The Chocolate Factory), among others.
Andrew has been a recurring collaborator with The TEAM, Lars Jan / Early Morning Opera, Annie Saunders, David Dorfman Dance, Hotel Savant, Fischerspooner, Kelela, and AVAN LAVA. His off-broadway designs include Dolphins and Sharks at the Labyrinth Theater; Small Mouth Sounds at Ars Nova and the Signature Theatre; and Roosevelvis at the Vineyard Theatre. Schneider has taught master classes on Technology and Performance at Bowdoin, Carleton, and Connecticut College. He was a 2019 Professor of the Practice and Visiting Fellow in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies through the Brown Arts Initiative at Brown University, as well as an adjunct professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU (2009, 2019 – present). Andrew holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Masters Degree in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU.
Andrew is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (2020) and has received a fellowship from the Junge Akademie / Akademie Der Künste in Berlin (2022). He teaches a recurring class on original-flavor reality at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU.
NOWISWHENWEARE (the stars)
Every point in space occurs once at each moment of time. N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars) is a new interactive theatrical installation that pushes this idea to its literal extreme. Through a darkened space, an unseen narrator guides each participant through a personal and collective cosmos. Five thousand precisely programmed points of light—inspired by seeing the Milky Way for the first time, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room, and so much more—respond to each individual. Through movement, narrative, and the room’s enveloping sound, N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars) invites viewers to explore traces of light in themselves and the universe. Part meditation, part exploration, the stars draws visitors into a hyper-focus of the present. The stars traces every decision that you have ever made as a contributing factor to being ‘here’ and being ‘now’. Nearly 4,000 individually reactive LEDs and a 496-channel sound system envelop each participant. The stars is an invitation to engage and become an active explorer – discovering the traces of yourself in light, the universe, and those who have been here before us.
Produced with Los Angeles Performance Practice. Development of (the stars) has been possible with support from The Brown Arts Institute, Carleton College Arts and Technology Initiative, The Simons Foundation and Science Sandbox, The Onassis Foundation, The Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program, and Eliko Industries.
Traveling Personnel: 5
Running time: 50 minutes
Created for and performed by Sasha Waltz & Guests
Direction / Choreography / Concept Set Design, Sound & Video: Andrew Schneider
Costume Design: Jasmin Lepore
Light Design: Yi Zhao, Andrew Schneider
Saying goodbye to those who choose to leave. Grief. Loss. Every passing moment.
In 2019 Schneider was commissioned to create an original choreographic work for the Sasha Waltz & Guests dance company to premiere in March of 2020. The 75-minute work was created over one two-week solo residency (Ucross, WY), two two-week workshop periods, and one eight-week creation period (Berlin). The show premiered to the public at Berlin’s Radialsystem for a single-night on 12 March before the global pandemic of early 2020-present shut down all public gatherings.
Fear and ambition
Perhaps there exists a hidden world stage right. A world from which we all come, but a world in which terrible things happen and which we all fear. Death. Separation from things we love, people we love, lives we love.
Innumerable different “films” of existence are being spliced together all the time. The mundane is floating just on top of the Unimaginable. Two distinct possibilities among the trillions of possible configurations for each one of our lives. When does one make itself more known than the others? What are the ratios? Does that mean one is more present than the other? For more time? Are the other always sub-stories? These are things that are stories in and of themselves.
(and perhaps in the end we realize that we are (they are) all the same things.)
Traveling Personnel: 20
Running time: 80 minutes
NOWISWHENWEARE (the stars)
Nov 29 – Dec 22, 2022 | BAM, Brooklyn, NY world premiere
Jan 26 – Feb 5, 2023 | Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
2023 – 2024 Worldwide Dates TBA.