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Faye Driscoll to bring second installment of ‘Thank You for Coming’ trilogy

"Thank You for Coming: Play" opens at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Sept. 22. Credit: Courtesy of Wexner Center for the Arts

“Thank You for Coming: Play” opens at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Sept. 22. Credit: Courtesy of Photography by Maria Baranova

Faye Driscoll, a resident choreographer at the Wexner Center for the Arts, will continue to interact with the audience in the upcoming second installment of her “Thank You for Coming” dance performance trilogy.

Driscoll’s “Thank You for Coming: Play” is set to have its premiere at the Wex as part of her residency, which was officially announced Monday. This sold-out performance comes after the success of the spring premiere of the first installment, “Attendance.”

Driscoll views “Thank You for Coming: Play” as an extension of the previous installment, except with more narrative ideas. Chuck Helm, a spokesman for Driscoll and director of performing arts at the Wex, said the Bessie Award-winning artist strives for human connection in her original works.

The previous installment had several segments of contact among dancers and direct interaction with the audience. The audience sits on the floor while watching the dancers perform on an elevated circular stage in the center of the room.

“One of the things unique about Faye is her deep interest in the responsibility of the artist to engage with the audience directly,” Helm said. “There are many artists who make dance from a very conventional and theoretical point of view. Those are not bad, but she does not want to make something you observe and then go home.”

As a recipient of a 2016-2017 Wexner Residency Award recipient, Driscoll is provided with access to the center’s spaces as well as financial and technical resources. Sherri Geldin, director of the Wex, said the award allows artists to explore and produce work that is new and possibly challenging.

“From the Wexner Center’s inception over 25 years ago, we have sustained what is arguably among the earliest, most robust and generous artist residency programs in the country,” she said.

Helm said Driscoll’s most apparent challenge is to meet the high standard set by her previous installment, and her personal challenge is to engage the audience even more. She also strives to incorporate audience feedback.
“Her process on how she collects this feedback is something she keeps secret,” Helm said. “You will just have to wait and see. We have been having tech runs with test audiences to see what we need to fix. She’s a perfectionist, so the show will be well worth it.”

Helm said the Wex is proud to continue to support Driscoll in her artistic endeavors and has enjoyed watching her innovative process.

Tickets for “Thank You for Coming: Play” are sold out, but there is a waiting list available on the Wexner Center for the Arts website.
The show is set to premiere on Thursday at 8 p.m. and will run through Sunday in the performance space at the Wex. Tickets for the show are $10 for students, $19 for members and $22 for the general public.

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