We are thrilled to announce our 2020 Incubator Artists! The Pivot Arts Incubator Program, in residence at Loyola University, is in its eighth year. The program provides companies, and/or ensembles of artists and collaborators, time and space to develop original, multidisciplinary performance that often blurs the boundaries between music, dance, theater and other disciplines.

Seth Bockley (Director) and Drew Paryzer (Playwright) will develop SUPERFLUXUS, an audience-interactive piece that includes a combination of puzzles, performances and installation, guiding spectators through an epic consciousness-bending adventure. The project builds on contemporary audiences’ appetites for immersive performance and puzzle and adds narrative sophistication, strong scripted performances, media design and a sense of event and celebration.

Silencio, a site-specific theatre company in Chicago, will develop a new work, THE TREATMENT, a live-cinema version of Martin Crimp’s under-produced classic. To capture Crimp’s nightmarish hall-of-mirrors vision of storytelling and moviemaking, the entire production will use live video.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts will develop their new work beaten path, a jazz suite written for cultural dance that draws from Carnatic and jazz melodic and rhythmic sequences. The production features dance and musical artists reflecting on journeys of mental health within family contexts. The movement is rooted in cultural traditions from Chicago, South Asia and beyond and is steeped in improvisation.

Aaliyah Christina/Catalyst Movmnt will develop their new work, I’M FULL OF B.S.: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, which acts as a process of remembering major life events and small instances of the past. The work will serve as an exploration and anthology of black depression struggling against the stigmas of mental health and therapy in the black South, including stories of black single motherhood and the effect of absent father figures.


Seth Bockley is a playwright and theatre director whose work includes GILGAMESH (premiered in the 2019 Pivot Arts Festival), 2666 (adapted with Robert Falls from the novel by Roberto Bolaño, Goodman Theatre, Chicago), February House (with Gabriel Kahane, The Public Theater, New York), Lauren Yee’s Samsara and Philip Dawkins’ Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens, Chicago) and the clown play Guerra, with Mexico City-based troupe La Piara (toured Mexico, Colombia and U.S.). He teaches at the University of Chicago.

Drew Paryzer’s work has been developed or presented at the Roundabout Theatre, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Fusebox Festival and the Playwrights’ Center. His work as an interactive storyteller includes FinalCon (Austin Critics Table Award nomination), the virtual reality/theatre piece Muzzle Tough (Tofte Lake Center Residency) and Intro to Being Here (Cohen New Works Festival 2017), for which he co-created the integrated video game. He is a National New Play Network Affiliated Artist, as well as an Affiliated Writer with the Playwrights’ Center. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he is a Narrative Lead at Meow.Wolf.

Directing The Treatment is Silencio Founder and Artistic Director Michael Rogerson, who directed Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs and Marius von Mayenburg’s The Dog, the Night, and the Knife for Silencio and is currently producing their Midwest premiere of Christopher Chen’s Home Invasion. He graduated from Northwestern University with a dual degree in theatre and English literature.

Directing and choreographing Beaten Path is Ashwaty Chennat, a movement and theatre artist, choreographer and educator based in Chicago and a principal artist with Mandala since 2016. She began her extensive training in Southeast Michigan in Bharatanatyam (Sudha Chandrasekhar) and in ballet, jazz and theatre forms. She is currently working with jazz percussionist Alvin Cobb, Jr. to explore mental health narratives in communities of color, and she also collaborates with western classical musicians—in 2019 she set contemporary movement to Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (conductor Sameer Patel, Chicago Sinfonietta), and in 2016, she collaborated with renowned international cellist Mauro Valli. Her work has appeared in Chicago at Symphony Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, McCormick Place and the Logan Center for the Arts and in Ann Arbor at Hill Auditorium.

Based in Chicago, choreographer Aaliyah Christina curates and makes dances that center on the Black Femme-American experience. She often incorporates her experiences coming from the South (Ruston, Louisiana) and East Coast (Maryland). She founded Catalyst Movmnt (2017) to share spaces with artists and audiences as they negotiate and acknowledge their vulnerabilities when they perform and witness, respectively. She has worked with such mentors and artists as Onye Ozuzu, Kristina Isabelle, Darrell Jones and Darling Shear. Her work has been featured in j e l l o (spring 2017), Links Hall’s CoMISSION Festival of New Works (fall 2018) and Project Tool in SET FREE (summer 2019). She co-curated Elevate Chicago Dance (2018, Chicago Dancemakers Forum), La Femme Dance Festival (2019, Red Clay Dance Company) and The Fly Honey Show X (2019, The Inconvenience).