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f i r s t  w o r k s h o p :

S E P T . 2 7 - 2 8 ,  2 0 1 9  i n  S Y R A C U S E ,  N . Y .

Pansy Craze is an immersive nightclub experience created by Maya June Dwyer, Isaac Betters, and DaiAwen Cynfamau for Wunderbar, downtown Syracuse’s newest queer bar and theatre--both exciting prisms of the fast-transforming art scene of Central New York. Set in a queer Kabarett hall in Berlin of the early 1930s, Pansy Craze takes storytelling to new heights, plunging guests into a dreamlike, through-designed world of intimate discoveries and explosive revelry—a fully explorable universe where the audience can affect the action. Discovering the story through their own navigation of the space, audience members follow their own instincts to choose which characters to pursue, and which stories to explore. The club dances feverishly closer to the end of the world as they know it as Berlin tumbles towards chaos.

S T A G I N G  /  S E T T I N G 
In its intial workshop, Pansy Craze transformed all three floors of Wunderbar - the blackbox theatre and dance club space, several stairwells and secret alleys, dressing rooms, a gallery, closets, and studios included. The audience will moved freely through the spaces, each person following their instincts to discover a pathway through the story. Pansy Craze features raucous performances of both original music and classic German songs in the style of Weimar-era Kabarett song-and-dance numbers, accompanied by a live band. But as an open plan immersive piece, when the audience ventures beyond the stage, scenes and physical interactions are to be discovered in every corner of the space — all connected through a detailed web of interwoven stories. Pansy Craze is staged as a dance theatre piece which blends live music, movement, and text. 

B A C K G R O U N D  ,   H I S T O R Y ,  &  P R O D U C T I O N   N O T E S 
Initially conceptualized by Maya June Dwyer, Pansy Craze was one of twelve projects in New York State to be awarded an “Opportunity to Create” grant from the Alliance of Resident Theatres of New York at the beginning of 2019. Choreographic residency and historical research for the piece took place in the spring of 2019 in Berlin, Germany. 
Isaac Betters came onto the project as a co-creator, composer, and sound designer during the spring of 2019, and by the summer, film director  and visual artist DaiAwen Cynfamau joined the team as co-creator and visual designer.


Funding from the A.R.T. Opportunity to Create grant was used in September 2019 to employ a cast of mainly Syracuse or Upstate New York based professional artists to produce the initial staging of this piece, premiering at Wunderbar on September 27th and 28th. Pansy Craze was the recipient of a NYSCA Community Arts Grant in 2020, which was to be utilized for a second development of the piece, but due to COVID, that development has been postponed. Stay tuned for more details.

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