In 2009, theatre artist Aaron Landsman was dragged by a friend to a city council meeting in Portland, Oregon. At first he was bored, but when a citizen dumped trash in front of the council in order to show how the city needed cleaning up, he was intrigued. He began attending local government meetings across the country, interviewing council members, staffers, activists, and other citizens. Out of this investigation, Landsman and director Mallory Catlett developed a participatory theatre piece called City Council Meeting. 

The City We Make Together looks at how we make art with communities, how we perform power and who gets to play which roles, and how we might use creativity and rigorous inquiry to look at our structures of democracy anew.

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Aaron Landsman is a New York-based performance-maker, writer, teacher and organizer. He is a recent Guggenheim Fellow, ASU Gammage Residency Artist and Princeton Arts Fellow. His work is currently supported by a two-year Artist Employment Grant from Creatives Rebuild New York. Upcoming projects include Night Keeper, a new work commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater, Trouble Hunters, a performance created in collaboration with artists in Serbia, and tours of Follow, for which he wrote the libretto. He teaches and creates work at Princeton, and lives on New York’s Lower East Side.

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Mallory Catlett is a an Obie award-winning creator and director of performance across disciplines from opera to installation. From 2011-2014 she developed and toured City Council Meeting to five different cities (Houston, Tempe, New York, San Francisco, Keene) which she co-created with Aaron Landsman and Jim Findlay.

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