Powerful • Provoking • PUSH
Intense athleticism, gravity-defying acrobatics, and soulful artistry – award-winning PUSH Physical Theatre, the genre-defining masters of physical storytelling, express what it means to be human: the joy and sorrow, humor and tragedy, the big questions and the simple things.
PUSH’s repeated sold-out performances have led to creative collaborations with the National Institute for the Deaf and Rochester Institute of Technology, during which PUSH created “Red Ball,” using iPad technology. Choreography for the Pulitzer-nominated cantata "Comala" resulted in a Mexico and US tour. TruTV’s national series, Fake Off, in which PUSH became the season finalist, elicited this from judge and Glee star Harry Shum Jr.: “You guys are superhuman!”
Unparalleled performers bring the narratives of our lives to the stage with hope and optimism: The strength of the human soul expressed by the power of the human body.
Activities include the following:
·Finalist on TruTV’s National series “Fake Off”
·Collaboration with composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon for his Pulitzer nominated “Comala”, which resulted in performances in Mexico at the Cervantino Festival and a U.S. tour.
·Two-week teaching residency with performers from Pilobolus in Monterey Bay, CA.
·Original work “Arc of Ages” ran for two weeks with an expanded cast of 24 performers.
·World premiere of “Dracula” ran for three weeks to sold-out audiences at Geva Theatre Center.
·Residency at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf to collaborate in the creation and premiere performance of “Red Ball,” supported by a $28,000 grant from the Farash Foundation.
·Guest speaker (Darren Stevenson) at TEDx Rochester and several colleges, where he talked about PUSH’s unique artistic process.
·Year-long training and development program for its professional company as well as the Teen Mentorship program, PUSH Pins Summer Camp for Kids and a Summer Intensive for adults, which attracts students from all over the world.
PUSH Physical Theatre began with a belief that each performer should bring his or her unique life experiences to the stage. PUSH performers they incorporate any movement that speaks to the audience. If the perfect method doesn’t exist, they invent it.
Darren & Heather Stevenson (founding artistic directors/PUSHers) Born and raised in England, Darren met Heather, a New Jersey native, during their mutual studies at The Center in St. Louis. Their shared love of physical theatre, dance and acrobatics planted the seeds for their relationship and eventual collaboration.
In addition to touring and collaborating, Darren and Heather created the Studio School of the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. They relocated to Rochester, NY with their two children in 2000 and founded PUSH Physical Theatre, growing it into an international touring company.
In 2001, they created PUSH Pins, a children’s educational program, which evolved into a summer day camp and added a Teen Mentorship Project – both of which Heather directs. In addition, the couple runs a Summer Intensive for adults that attracts students from all over the world.
The Stevensons received the 2009 Performing Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, as well as the Anton Germano Dance Award.
A 2012 grant from the Farash Foundation enabled collaboration with RIT’s National Institute for the Deaf during which PUSH created “Red Ball,” using iPad technology.
In 2013 in Mexico, PUSH premiered its choreography for the Pulitzer nominated opera Comala, an opera by composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon.
In 2014, PUSH Physical Theatre became a season finalist in truTV’s debut season of Fake Off.
Avi Pryntz-Nadworny (PUSHer) grew up in Rochester, NY, where he was involved with acting, juggling, and gymnastics. After moving to Canada to study circus at École De Cirque de Québec, he continued his education at Scuola di Circo Flic in Turin, Italy. Avi has performed all over America and Europe as a soloist, and with companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Airplay Jugglers, and Cirq’ulation Locale.
Jonathan Lowery (PUSHer) is a classically trained actor and mime from Jackson, Mississippi. He began his studies with Dr. Lou Campbell and continued his training under other movement masters such as Avner Eisenberg, James Donlon, and Daniel Stein. Jonathan has appeared on national TV and toured as a mime and vaudeville performer throughout the U.S. and in Italy, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan. He has performed with PUSH since 2007.
Katherine Marino (PUSHer) grew up in Rochester, NY and has performed professionally since age 13. She holds a dual degree in Dance and Environmental Studies from William Smith College. In 2014, she won a year-long Fulbright fellowship to Mendoza, Argentina. Katherine’s professional performing experience includes the Elizabeth Clark Dance Ensemble, Finger Lakes Dance! Concert, Rochester Dance Project, Tres Puntos, and Present Tense Dance Company.
PUSH Physical Theatre creates and performs physical stories that inspire change. PUSH teaches lessons for life by empowering learners of all ages to use physical theatre to tell their own stories.
Board of Directors
Recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2009, PUSH is served by a board of directors.
Sally Cohen - PR Consultant - (President)
Larry Francer - The Landmark Society
David Hou - Boylan, Code Attorney At Law
Craig Houck - Manning & Napier (Treasurer)
Kitty Jospé - Writer - (Secretary)
Susan Rogers - WXXI Public Broadcasting
Darren Stevenson - PUSH CEO
Heather Stevenson - (Vice President)
Dr. Roanald Yearwood - Psychiatrist
Jack Kraushaar - Calatlyst Inc.
Donald G. Riling - Riling Leadership Resources
Gregory W. Smith - Jay Advertising