about dog and pony dc//
dog & pony dc is an ensemble of artists who devise innovative performances that incorporate new ways for audiences to experience theatre.
The audience completes our ensemble.
A highly collaborative, necessarily exhaustive and inefficient process ensures the most enduring ideas reach their fullest potential.
The playfulness and generosity of the invitation to our collaborators amplifies the impact of the work.
Our productions position artists and audience to playfully engage in joint inquiry about contemporary culture, politics, and society.
dpdc’s productions explore the elastic relationship between performer and audience with “Audience Integration”—the engagement of audience in the narrative or experiential arc of a performance. We discuss Audience Integration from each project’s birth through to its production, and incorporate the concept into every area of production (e.g. box office, scenic construction, social media). dpdc’s productions strike a delicate balance between scripted and improvised which embraces and exploits the serendipity potential of live theatre. We continually refine shows throughout their performance, deliberately evolving them in response to the audience’s participation.
dpdc was founded in 2008 by 3 DC artists who sought to involve directors, designers, and performers in open collaboration throughout a show’s lifespan. In 2011, we revised our mission to incorporate our artistic commitment to re-imagining the audience experience in theatrical productions. Over 5 years dpdc has devised 7 original shows—including 4 world premieres and 2 adaptations—that span a wide stylistic range: from Punch!, an ultra-violent live-action version of the Punch and Judy puppet show, to Beertown, an imagined civic ceremony that ignites audience debate around a time capsule’s contents. Toast is our 8th show and 5th world premiere.
dpdc is an artist-led company, currently guided by 3 “Ring Leaders”: 2 of our founders, Rachel Grossman and Lorraine Ressegger-Slone, and long-time ensemble member Jon Reynolds. The Ring Leaders share artistic and organizational management. The company (“Conspirators”) includes 7 multi-disciplinary theatre artists and 2 artist/administrators.
dpdc is emerging as a national leader in engaging audience during performance. Beertown was the first ensemble-devised show to receive a Helen Hayes Award nomination (Outstanding New Play) and was named one of the top 10 shows of 2013 by Washington Post. A Killing Game was awarded the 2013 Cincinnati Fringe’s Producer’s Pick Award and was recently named one of the top shows of 2013 by DC Metro Theatre Arts. In 2012 and 2013 dpdc presented about our work at national and local conferences (TCG, ATHE, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Capital Fringe) and was included in American Theatre’s March 2013 story on ensemble theatre and July/Aug 2013 story on immersive theatre.
For bios of the dog & pony dc ensemble members visit here.
a killing game (in rep)
Oct 16-Nov 15, 2015
@ Omaha Community Playhouse
March 2-9, 2016
@ Know Theatre
Which tells the story of our town’s history better: a pair of glasses or a license plate? A projector or a bottle of beer? Visit a place where remembering is a communal act, and everyone’s opinion is heard and counted: Beertown. Part-civic ceremony, part-theatrical pageant, dog & pony dc’s Beertown explores the dynamic and tenuous relationship between individuals and their community.
“gently satiric and utterly involving” – Washington Post
"part Choose Your Own Adventure, part kooky murder-mystery dinner party—only complex and thought-provoking" – Washingtonian
"Kudos to the group for devising a novel theatrical event that celebrates community and civility" - DC Theatre Scene
"Beertown, I hope, turns out to be a trend-setting piece of theatre….It was very moving and thought-provoking….It’s one of the most important shows I saw in Washington in 2011, and very entertaining." - Howard Shalwitz, Artistic Director Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
2011 Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Outstanding New Play or Musical
2012 Top 10 Theatre Productions in DC (Washington Post)
For more on the world of Beertown visit here.
a killing game
In a not-so-distant time and place, a deadly plague begins killing the citizenry--inexplicably, indiscriminately, and fast! Can you play against death, and win? How far will you go? How much fun can you have? We can’t all die, can we? A Killing Game is dog & pony dc’s absurdist-play-meets-party-game that promises the most fun you'll ever have dying. A Killing Game weaves digital media--Twitter, texts, good old-fashioned calls--into the narrative so bring your cellphones and smartdevices.
“grand fun...inventive theatre” —DC Theatre Scene
“an infectious entertainment experience” —Cincinnati's City Beat
“tight and sharp...zippy and chaotic and manages to be both cynical and optimistic” —Cincinnati Enquirer
WINNER: Dr. Robert J. Thierauf Producers' Pick of the Fringe (Cincy Fringe Festival)
For more on the world of A Killing Game, visit here.
beertown and a killing game have audience integration as a major principle. There is agency given to the audience- they are not 'putting on' a play, but rather creating the play with dog & pony dc. Both plays can also be performed in whole or in part, with local actors. For more information, including full-length video, tech riders, and schedule, contact us. beertown and a killing game are available and ready to tour separately or in rep.