Z Forge: A Collaboration with Drop Forge & Tool
Z Forge was created in 2015, in collaboration with Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson New York, as a 4-day workshop that brings together artists from diverse disciplines, training, and geographies, all with a shared passion for trying new things, in subject, form, and creative process. There's no public output or finished product required, to allow for complete freedom of experimentation and creation. Following the workshop, Z Forgers take those new skills and relationships back to their local communities, to build new work that is of and for where they live and work. (Read below for stories from previous Z Forge participants, and how it has impacted their artistic practice.)
Help Keep Z Forge Open and Inclusive
Z Forge participants are invited to join the workshop at no fee, to allow for participation from all backgrounds, experiences, and economic capabilities. In 2018, we have 18 participants from around the country, and they need your help! Donations are used for room, board, and workshop participation, with a “stretch goal” of supporting travel to/from Z Forge.
Click the button below and choose “Z Forge” from the Z Space Donation Page, to help this year’s Z Forge participants expand their creative practice, and then bring those experiences and new connections back to their local communities and practices.
Z Forge 2018 Participants
Barbra Berlovitz, Minneapolis, MN
Jon Bernson, San Francisco, CA
Jim Cave, Bay Area, CA
Ben Charles, New York, NY
Adriana Chavez, Las Vegas, NV
Dina Emerson, Las Vegas, NV
Vanessa Gilbert, Providence, RI
Brent Holmes, Las Vegas, NV
Nathaniel Justiniano, San Francisco, CA
Jason Lambert, Peterborough, NH
Karla Laguna, Las Vegas, NV
Brent Lindsey, Santa Rosa, CA
Zhenya Nayberg, New York, NY
Mariana Newhard, New York, NY
Caroline Parsons, New York, NY
Tanya Perez, New York, NY
Heidi Rider, Las Vegas, NV
Micah Thomas, New York, NY
Z Forge Testimonials
Becca Wolf, director, co-founder of Tilted Field Productions (San Francisco, CA):
Z Forge is a fresh and unpretentious place to dig into the craft of devising. It is a place to create not just work, but new ways of working. I love the participant-led structure and it has increased my confidence as a generative artist ten-fold. Plus, it’s a beautiful, friendly place where wonderful people gather. I have made deep and lasting connections with artists in my cohort from both coasts.
Brent Lindsay, co-founder, The Imaginists (Santa Rosa, CA):
"It is essential that the artist continually locates their artistic family to keep exercised and stay inspired & vigilant in their art. In every master is a student continually searching for the practitioners of their field who experiment freely in the unknown with an understanding of pushing and pulling from comfort to reach the raw, untidy, glorious New. The family search for devising theatre artists flings us far in every direction. We throw out lines, send out searches and travel by wire and wing to discover and meet the emerging artists and professionals of our field. Z Forge has made a physical home for this artistic connection and dialogue to happen free from obstacle. Here is a necessary magnet and a crucible, a melting pot that brings together devising theatre artists from all parts allowing us to deepen the journey and the study of our field together. In the beautiful town of Hudson, Z Forge has made a splendid meeting place for intergenerational, interdisciplinary artistic exchange, diverse in experience and background. Z Forge has dropped the necessary pin onto an otherwise desolate map where families of artists can come together to meet, reunite and invite one another to invent beyond what is already known."
Nathaniel Justiniano, creator/performer/educator, founder, Naked Empire Bouffon Company (San Francisco, CA):
"Z Forge was the first time I was in a room playing with a deeply experienced, rigorous, and diverse group of super sweet and open fellow devisers. Unlike a school where the caliber can be uneven or a company where folks tend to be of a like mind, this space was ideal for going deep very quickly. I used literally every one of the exercises that folks brought in to make my next devised piece. What an inspired and nourishing treat!"
Adriana Chavez, creator/performer (Las Vegas, NV):
“Attending the residency was one of the best things I could have done for my career as a theatre maker. It is a place where visions, ideas, proposals, concepts find meaning and life with the help of many other professional hands and perspectives. I was challenged, sparked, catapulted to the next level of creation and how I thought about investigating ideas. The environment was such that I felt at ease to explore ideas boldly without judgment and with curiosity and lightness.”
Rebecca Noon, co-founder, Strange Attractor Theater (Providence, RI):
"Z Forge is a creative jumpstart. It's the alchemy of artists you've never met from around the country converging in a place you've never been. We found creative gold by opening up to each other and saying yes to strangers. After a few days, not only could we not believe what we had made, but our attachment to each other was bigger than we could believe. Plus we ate good food and slept in great lodgings!"
Jason Lambert, theatre artist, teacher, co-founder of Firelight Theater (Peterborough, NH):
"Z-Forge, designed and facilitated by Lisa Steindler and Michael Hoch in collaboration with workshop participants, offers artists of all walks a unique, intensive, and stimulating experience. I am still savoring and drawing from elements of our first workshop, and I can’t wait for our fourth convening this August. Not to be missed if you can help it!"
Barbra Berlovitz, creator/educator/performer, co-founder Theatre de la Jeune Lune (Minneapolis, MN):
"A weekend to play. The power of play. In 2015 I received an invitation to play. To join others who were as excited as I was by community and creating new work. This coming August I will be attending my fourth creative workshop and I cannot wait. Every year is the same in that everyone comes eager to share, learn and participate and every year it is a bit different. Some new faces, new approaches to creating, new skills. Everyone brings not only their theatrical expertise but they also bring their culture. And although we are all in the same field we have different approaches. As a creator/educator of theatre I always come away from workshop with much more than I brought. I go back to acting/directing and teaching with new voices in my head saying, “try it this way.” I have been a theatre professional for five decades. Being given the opportunity to explore and learn new approaches to the work is a gift. I am thrilled to be invited back each year and am looking forward to new experiences this coming August."
Marisol Soledad, creator/performer (Seattle, WA):
“In the summer of 2015, my first experience of Z Forge, I had recently returned from three years of intensive theatrical study abroad. I felt like raw electricity--I was full of energy, a bit terrified, eager. I felt creatively isolated--separated from the international cohort of artists with whom I'd grown so close over the preceding years, and suddenly a foreigner in my own hometown. Finding creators who spoke my language felt like searching for needles in haystacks, and under so many damp, dark rocks. I was hungry to continue creating my own work, to diversify my skill set, and especially to build artistic community. Z Forge threw me right into the deep end of the pool, with the chance to play and collaborate with other theater devisers from across the country and from a broad range of styles, experiences, and generations. In addition to expanding my deviser's toolbox, Z Forge has, most importantly, given me a sense of roots, grounding and connection in a national, intergenerational community of theater creators I would not otherwise have had the chance to meet. Now, each summer's Z Forge gathering serves as a yardstick for my own personal and artistic growth, in ways that are subtle, magical, and profound.”