The Precursor Lab
Live performance – more than any other art form – is about immediacy, the here and now, the condition of the moment. This implies that live performance naturally and necessarily interrogates our current systemic condition as a collective. The fabric of this art form has always consisted of, and relied on, sensorial creativity and innovations in scenic, costume, lighting, sound and video design that not only reflected the Zeitgeist but, more importantly, critically engaged it.
As digital media is rapidly transforming our lives, both in its ubiquity and its complexity, live performance, whose essence and objective is the condition of the moment, has developed a lag. Current modes of production and the tools available to live performance technologists do not contain the possibilities that contemporary live performance requires. We are thus at a critical junction in which we are called to interrogate and transform the modes by which live performance is created and experienced.
The Precursor Lab (PL), led by Wladimiro A. Woyno R., embraces this shifting paradigm. Using modes of research-creation, it will explore, assess, analyze and design emerging technologies to advance the formal, narrative and scenographic potential of live performance making. This interdisciplinary research lab is a deployable, rapid prototyping environment that engages local and international technologists, artists, designers and students.
Wladimiro A. Woyno R. – Co-creator
Wladimiro A. Woyno R. is a live performance designer and technologist with a unique interdisciplinary expertise in contemporary set, lighting, and projection design. With field experience in live performance spanning contemporary theatre, opera, dance, concerts, time-based installations and large-scale corporate events, his work explores performance designs that engage the sensory imagination. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, he holds an M.F.A. in Design from Yale School of Drama and a B.F.A. in Theatre Design and Production from The University of British Columbia, with further professional training at The Banff Centre. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Production and Design Program at Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts.
His credits include Since I Can Remember (The Wooster Group, NYC); Kiss (Yale Repertory Theatre, USA); Parade (Nederlands Dans Theater, Netherlands); The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst (Ghost River Theatre, Canada); This American Wife (Next Door @ NYTW); Salome (M3 Productions, Brooklyn); Wakey, Wakey (Pacific Theatre, Canada), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, Bulgaria! Revolt!, and The Merchant of Venice (Yale School of Drama, USA); RE:UNION (Yale Cabaret); (Gallery+Lumia (Yale Art Gallery); Year of the Horse, and Ziriguidum (Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Canada).
Amelia Scott – Co-creator
Amelia Scott is a video designer, projection technologist, and new media artist working in theatre, opera, dance, and beyond. Based out of Montreal and working across Canada, she works in the intersection of animation, video, film, and live performance. She is also an instructor of Video Technology and Design at The National Theatre School of Canada.
Brian Postalian – Collaborator, Dramaturg, Producer
Brian Postalian (Բրայն Փոսթալյան) is an arts administrator, educator, and creator born and raised in Toronto/Tkaronto by way of Armenia, Ireland, Wales, and the Czech Republic. Brian is the founding Artistic Director of Re:Current Theatre, which is dedicated to creating work that reimagines gathering. Together with his company, he produced the sold-out SummerWorks hit The Smile Off Your Face and most recently the digital tour of New Societies from Upintheair Theatre's eVolver Festival to Kingston's Kick & Push Festival and into Crow's Theatre's main season programming. Brian’s work has been featured on “Best of the Year” lists, received Outstanding Direction (NOW Magazine), Best Production (SummerWorks 2017), nomination for Outstanding Direction (MyEntertainmentWorld), and continues to make collaborative work that redefines what we think of as theatre. A reviewer once described him as “clearly unafraid to try just about anything."
Brian is a sessional instructor within the Theatre department at X University in the Fall and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University. He completed a Master of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts in Theatre Game Design and Interdisciplinary Performance Studies. In his spare time, he likes to visit used book stores, revisit childhood video games, ride his bicycle, play with his dog Amie, and is learning how to draw and play the Armenian duduk. Brian currently lives on the unceded Coast Salish territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations.
Katayoon Yousefbigloo – Associate Collaborator
Katayoon Yousefbigloo is an interdisciplinary artist and musician working primarily with video and performance to construct and deconstruct cultural narratives and speculations. She is an MFA candidate at the School of Contemporary Art at Simon Fraser University and the co-founder of the amorphous art space Liquidation World.
Montserrat Videla Samper – Associate Collaborator
Montserrat Videla Samper (b. Mexico City) immigrated with her Colombian family to Canada in 2005. She works predominantly as an actor and performance creator in English and Spanish, both nationally and internationally. Her work and collaborations have participated in several film and performance festivals across Canada, including Why Not Theatre’s RISER Project, SummerWorks, and PuSh. Recently, she was an artist in residence at GlogauAIR in Berlin and What Lab in Vancouver, where she explored affective performance-based images of the body in crisis and developed the foundations of a new theatre show. In 2018, she was nominated alongside her ensemble from The Wolves for a Jessie Richardson Award. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts and is currently living on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people/Vancouver.
Tobias Macfarlane – Associate Collaborator
Having graduated from SFU Theatre ‘18, he has been exploring the intersection of arts, business and tech. Yet due to recent minor global catastrophe, the budding of the dire need for art that connects has arisen. The post-pandemic reconstruction calls for broadening the welcoming nature of creation. This year, Tobias hopes to make art that makes you smile.
Jack Chipman – Technical Collaborator
Jack is a third-year student at SFU studying Theatre Production and Design. He has a passion for creating a seamless merging of the human body and technology through projected video. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, biking, and carpentry.
Megan Lane – Associate Collaborator
Megan Lane is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Vancouver area with experience in theatre as a technician, a designer, a performer, and as a puppet maker and puppeteer. Outside of theatre, she is also interested in clothing design, textiles, furniture design, woodworking, visual art, and whatever other creative medium she can get her hands on. Megan graduated from the Stagecraft and Event Technology program at Douglas College in 2019, and is now at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts in pursuit of her degree in Theatre Production and Design. Currently, she is exploring subjects such as design led creation in performance, devised theatre, tactility within contemporary performance, the intersection between design and performance, interdisciplinarity, and non hierarchical collaboration. As she moves forward in her artistic journey, Megan is excited to explore all that is to be learned and discovered within the lifelong practice of creativity.
Megan is grateful to be living, learning, working, and creating on unceded sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Kwantlen, Stz’uminus, šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam), səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) territory.
June Hsu – Associate Collaborator
June is an artist, musician, and theatre production designer passionate in all aspects of sound, set, and video. In 2019, she graduated from the Douglas College Stagecraft and Event Technology program and is currently studying in Simon Fraser University working towards her BFA in Theatre Production and Design. With over 15 years of practice in classical music and composition, her sound design works include “7 Stories” (Douglas College), “Selfie” (SFU SCA), and “The Tempest” (Carousel Theatre for Young People). Her other works also include: “Peter and the Wolf” (Collaborator), “Our Eyes Will Adjust” (Set Designer & Technical Director Phase 1), and “Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night!” (Projection Designer, Sound Programmer, and Editor for the online workshop by Davey Calderon).