PoP Up’s Artistic Treasure Hunt Combines Music, Dance And Theater In Site-Specific Performances

PoP Up: An Artistic Treasure Hunt

(New York) – Irondale Center, in association with Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and Tours Soundpainting Orchestra (TSO) announce the U.S. Premiere of PoP Up: An Artistic Treasure Hunt. Over the course of three days this fall, October 4-6, audiences will engage in various treasure hunts and discover 15 site-specific performances via clues on a hand-painted map of Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Inspired by interviews with local Fort Greene residents and business owners, «PoP Up» will be performed by a collective of multidisciplinary performers in public spaces scattered around the neighborhood of inspiration. Starting location for each performance is secret and registered audience members will receive notification day before the show.

Developed over the past four years, «PoP Up» is designed to spark community connection, highlight the extraordinary within the ordinary, and shift perceptions. «PoP Up» is art in everyday places. Performances will pop-up on the street, in windows, parks, and plazas throughout the neighborhood—short apparitions of music, dance, theater and visual art inject a series of alternately playful, poetic or poignant performances. In developing the piece, the creative team conducted interviews with Fort Greene residents who were invited to share memories, dreams, rumors, anecdotes, stories and impressions.

PoP Up: An Artistic Treasure Hunt (Photo by Guillaume Le Baube)

Each «PoP Up» treasure hunt course is unique and leads to a different set of improvised and soundpainted performances, resulting in a completely new experience for every audience member. A soundpainter is a composer who guides a multidisciplinary group of artists (actors, dancers, and musicians) with a series of hand and body gestures, which the performers interpret to improvise in the moment.

The gestural language is comprised of more than 1500 gestures, resulting in the creation of real-time compositions, with the composer responding to the performers to indicate what happens next. Strike Anywhere and the TSO are two of the top soundpainting ensembles in the world.

«PoP Up» blasts down the 4 walls of the theater and spills into the street. This unique collaboration with TSO has resulted in a performance that infuses joy, recognizes beauty in the quotidian, and celebrates the local community.

“We like to say that it’s about affirming the importance of poetry in the everyday,” says Leese Walker, Artistic Director of Strike Anywhere. “People today are isolated, catatonic, angry and scared. Our approach inspires connection through joy, wonder and whimsy. Coming across a string trio at the bus stop, witnessing a clown in a heap of clothing at the Laundromat, sweeping local residents into our “ephemeral choir”—these moments celebrate our shared humanity.”

PoP Up – An Artistic Treasure Hunt / Jeu de Piste Artistique

Leading up to the October premiere, Strike Anywhere will offer free community Soundpainting workshops on September 22 and 29 at Irondale Center. Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to attend. Workshop participants will be featured in the «PoP Up» finale. The show is featured as part of the Brooklyn Falls for France Festival and the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival.


Pop Up: An Artistic Treasure Hunt will run October 4-6, 2019. Treasure Hunt and performances run approximately 105 minutes.

Friday and Saturday, October 4-5: 7:00 PM (Treasure Hunt Course A)

Sunday, October 6: 12:00PM (Treasure Hunt Course B) and 5:00 PM (Treasure Hunt Course C)


The treasure hunt starting point is secret and will be sent to registered audience members the day before. Performances take place across 15 locations across Fort Greene Brooklyn. Audiences are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes. Register at: strikeanywhere.info


Directors: Leese Walker and Angélique Cormier
Cartographer and Game Master: Julien Rodriguez
Technical Director/Production Design: Steven Brenman
Costume Design: Sabine Solin & Emilie Cohuau
Production Manager: Amanda Chin
Education and Partnerships: Amanda Hinkle Wallace


Established in 1997, the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble is an interdisciplinary collective of world-class improvisers. The company creates provocative performances and innovative education programs that promote empathy, creativity and civic discourse. Strike Anywhere’s work is guided by the words of Bertolt Brecht, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” SA performances always feature live music, physical theater and dance. Strike Anywhere is the preeminent theatre company in the United States practicing Soundpainting, a universal sign-language developed by composer Walter Thompson for live composition with improvisers. Strike Anywhere has performed and taught in over 200 venues in 16 states and eight countries.


The Tours Soundpainting Orchestra was founded in 2005 in Tours, France by musician Angélique Cormier. The company is home to some 20 actors, singers, instrumentalists, dancers and visual artists. Its activities include both performance and educational projects. The TSO mixes live- composition with through-composed material often improvising on specific themes. Cormier trained with soundpainting inventor, Walter Thompson, in New York and in Europe. The TSO was one of the first French multidisciplinary ensembles to step onto the stage of world soundpainting and is currently considered one of Europe’s finest Soundpainting groups.


Irondale is a theater located in the heart of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District. It is a theatre ensemble, a performance think-tank and a laboratory for collaborative theatre- making. Irondale’s unique and transformational theatre space has gained much attention as a place for both established and emerging artists to premiere major projects and showcase developing work. The Irondale Ensemble Project was founded in 1983 by Jim Niesen, Terry Greiss, and Barbara Mackenzie-Wood and is one of the longest established permanent ensemble theaters in the country. The ensemble has created over 60 Off-Broadway productions ranging from intimate chamber productions of Shakespeare to original, epic, company-devised works. Irondale’s learning programs for students and community provide high quality, cutting-edge workshops and residencies designed to encourage and develop the artist in each individual and to make the skills derived from participating in making theatre a valuable contribution to successful, daily living.

Press Release Via: Irondale Center, in association with Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble and Tours Soundpainting Orchestra (TSO)


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