Mar 6, 2019
Alumni News

Baltimore, MD. (February 27, 2019) Submersive Productions, Baltimore’s collaborative artworks company dedicated to creating impactful immersive experiences, brings its most ambitious project to date to the vast interior of Baltimore’s War Memorial (101 North Gay Street, in Baltimore, MD).

“MASS/RABBLE” will have the audience join a diverse ensemble of thirty movers to explore themes of mass migration and the borders and boundaries that separate us. Throughout the experience, each audience member may choose their level of involvement while the invitation to join the “rabble” remains open. The show will be fully ADA accessible and people of all levels of physical ability are invited to participate as they wish.

Lisi Stoessel, longtime Submersive collaborator and winner of the 2018 Baker Artist Award in Performance, is leading the ensemble to create the piece along side a core team of artists from all of Submersive’s past productions. “As our world becomes denser, impactful events are often described in terms of masses of people: mass migration, mass protests, mass shootings, mass communication,” said Stoessel. “News about refugees overseas, disputes about securing our border to the south and the dividing lines in our own city occupy the current headlines. In this national conversation, the human physical element can become easily lost.”

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information and loud voices, we felt a fresh approach would be to explore the issue through the movement of our own bodies,” said Submersive Artistic Associate Susan Stroupe, dramaturg for “MASS/RABBLE.”

The devising process will culminate in the arrival of guest artist Yuko Kaseki, a Butoh master and performer residing in Berlin, Germany, who will act as Movement Director in the final weeks before opening.

Yuko Kaseki

“We are excited to incorporate Yuko’s creative voice and movement expertise into our work,” says Submersive Co-Artistic Director Glenn Ricci. “She is a constant stream of ideas and inspiration that blends well with our open, collaborative process.”

The experience will be underscored by a newly composed soundscape, original masks and an ambitious lighting design that will re-imagine the space.

“MASS/RABBLE” is a residency sponsored by the War Memorial Arts Initiative, which enables Submersive to create and present the work in Memorial Hall. This vast space is capable of holding up to 1100 people, however, the audience and ensemble combined is limited to 150, allowing for moments of intimate interaction within the larger flow of action.

“The work we make is site-specific and, therefore, always informed by the place in which it is performed. One of the many themes that the show explores is the displacement of people because of war. The building is a place of remembrance for fallen soldiers, and resonates powerfully with the costs and consequences of war,” said Submersive Co-Artistic Director Ursula Marcum. “In response, this has led us to investigate our communal imagining of our hopes for the future.”

Tickets are available now at:

About Submersive Productions

Submersive Productions is a collaborative artworks company that creates original, site-specific immersive works where artists and audiences engage together at the intersection of histories, mythologies and the immediate experience. The company was formed in 2015 to produce the spring and fall editions of “The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe” earning a Best of Baltimore award for BEST THEATER EXPERIENCE (City Paper). The company has since produced over a dozen original works, including the award-winning “H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum” in 2017 and 2018’s episodes of “The Institute of Visionary History.”

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