Hundreds of shows in a history spanning more than twenty years. TerpTheatre’s approach is the collective result of creative partnerships with thousands of theatre artists. During this time, some unique relationships stand out.
Hilary Cohen and Sandy Ryder, co-founders of Wild Swan Theater, were a strong early influence on TerpTheatre’s founders, Dan McDougall and Shelly Tocco, and their then-partner, Kim Willett. Wild Swan Theater is one of America’s most respected professional theater groups for the family. Their focus: Making theatre accessible to everyone.
Sandy and Hilary are visionaries. It is among them that we honed our script analysis and blocking strategies. They and their committed ensemble of choreographers, actors, craftspeople, and artists provided the perfect working environment for developing our style of work.
Michele Tocco and Valoree Boyer join the cast of The Trojan Women on stage - and at rehearsals.
Terptheatre has been fortunate to work with the professionals and students at the theatre department of Oakland University since 1997.OU provides a rich working environment that combines two goals: excellent theatre and educating young actors and other theatre professionals.
Over the years, we have developed a close working relationship with the faculty and students at OU, which has allowed TerpTheatre to enhance our approach to shadow interpreting - and to the marketing interpreted performances.
Director, Karen Sheridan, works with actors and interpreters to refine moments of The Trojan Women.
In 2009, The Kennedy Center recognized TerpTheatre's Michele Tocco and Valoree Boyer with a special commendation for their work in OU's The Trojan Women.
Beyond the experience of making great theatre, our collaboration with OU helps future actors, directors, and producers understand the value and creative potential of interpreted theatre.
Film Craft Labs [ a division of Grace and Wild ] hired TerpTheatre's founders, Michele Tocco and Dan McDougall, to translate and perform the poem, Surrender. Film Craft Labs was the sponsor of an independent film festival, and the poem was shown prior to festival screenings.
ASL Translation © Dan McDougall & Michele Tocco
[ Click for Audio Transcript / English version ]
McDougall and Tocco translated the original English version of the poem into an ASL poem, creating an interplay from three perspectives - the two performing signers and the camera itself. On the set, Film Craft Labs' director and crew responded to the physical re-interpretation the poem with a language of their own - unique camera angles, special effects (many NOT produced digitally), and beautiful editing. Shot over a two-day period, Film Craft Labs used more than 40,000 watts of light, a rotating stage, and unique movie film stock to achieve the final product. [ The first one and one-half minutes is included here. ]