The CHAOS Collective
Who are we?
In the Fall of 2019, 16 theater artists auditioned and enrolled in Fiasco Theater's inaugural 6-Week Conservatory. Over the course of those six weeks, we grew as individuals and we grew together, ultimately forming our own theater collective: CHAOS.
United by our training with Fiasco and our collective curiosity, love of text, and joy, we continued to workshop and develop our own ideas about plays, creating our very own laboratory—The CHAOS Collective (adoringly known as CHAOS). CHAOS is a laboratory in which artists fully immerse themselves in process and allow the time necessary to fully and humanely engage with a play through intense exploration and fun. Process, time, and fun—sounds simple—but in practice, it's actually pretty radical.
In this joy-led laboratory, we investigate all text: from Shakespeare to contemporary plays to new works written by CHAOS members. We lead democratically by rotating committee, sharing responsibility, decision-making, and taking turns co-directing projects. In our rehearsal room, we seek to reimagine the stories we tell, how we as actors and creators can bring our full humanity to the human experience on the page, and also how we make theater. Our mission is to create sustainable, joyful, and empowered work that centers and celebrates the humans in the room.
Jason Cohen, Rob Milano, Kendall Cafaro, Michael Hammond, Andrew Oppmann, Joe Minchik
Morgan Kirner, Tameisha Peterson, Gabriel Nuemann,
Maddie Provo, Rachel Lin
Kelly Letourneau, Gracie Belt, Aubrey Elenz, Emily Kleypas,
Photo by Emma Dickson
What have we been up to?
What We Will, As We Like It (2021)
At first, our choosing to name our group CHAOS was a cheeky spin on the word fiasco, but we quickly discovered how apt it is, given the word's origins. As it is used today, chaos commonly refers to "a state of utter confusion," but it is borrowed from the Greek word abyss. In ancient Greece, chaos was thought of as "the abyss or emptiness that existed before things comes into being, and that's where we begin: an empty abyss where we meet the work and bring it into being.
Photos by Corey Umlauf
Song created by The CHAOS Collective
Recording and sound design by Rob Milano & Gracie Belt
After a year and a half working together on Zoom, The CHAOS Collective reunited for a magical night of theater-making in a backyard in Brooklyn. Exploring scenes from AS YOU LIKE IT and TWELFTH NIGHT (OR WHAT YOU WILL), Andrew Oppmann and Emily Kleypas lead the ensemble through an exploration of both plays in our workshop sharing of WHAT WE WILL, AS WE LIKE IT.