The Summit was a collaborative experimental theater piece that premiered at the Guild Hall Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in East Hampton, New York on August 31, 2018.

The work is written, directed, and designed by Isla Hansen, Tucker Marder, and Christian Scheider, featured a cast of over 20 performers and puppeteers; originally designed and fabricated sets, props, puppets, and costumes; 4 projection-mapped live feeds from sound stages built throughout the theater; and an original live score by Jon Campolo, Chase Ceglie, and Ian Holden. The Summit ran August 31 - September 9.

Empathetic Embodied Neural Network (AI on right) accessing diagnostics for Networked knee puppet (left)

Log Line
As the global elite prepare to abandon their bodies and upload themselves into the virtual beyond, a malfunctioning Empathy A.I. is mistakenly assigned to assist with the procedure, but instead unwittingly inspires a bodily-bacchanal for the ages.

Count down to your imminent immortality and prepare to abandon your body, uploading your consciousness into the virtual beyond. Your final night of bodily delights? It's an extravagant gathering of the future global elite; technologists, trans-genetic hybrids, cyborgs and a menagerie of autonomous networked pets and appliances. The safeguard to your eternal future? An awkward, malfunctioning A.I. named Eenn, whose attempts to navigate the social mores of our last night on earth inadvertently trigger a bodily bacchanal unlike anything you have ever seen. Party goers’ antics and anecdotes spin into nostalgic vignettes of embodied times, rendered surreal in dance, music, puppetry, lavish costumes and visual phenomena. Meanwhile, however, Eenn has stumbled upon a vulnerability in the upload process, revealing the brutal lie in the grand promise of technological transcendence.


Photographs by Philip Lehans