Granada Artist, Winter 2021
Geoff Sobelle, a theatre artist dedicated to the “sublime ridiculous,” is the Granada Artist for winter quarter 2021.
Sobelle is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43, a renegade absurdist outfit devoted to creating original actor-driven performance works. Using illusion, film and out-dated mechanics, R43 creates surreal, poetic pieces that look for humanity where you least expect it and find grace where no one is looking. R43’s shows include: “all wear bowlers” (Innovative Theatre Award, Drama Desk nomination), “Amnesia Curiosa, machines machines machines machines machines machines machines” (OBIE award – design), and “Elephant Room” (commissioned by Center Theatre Group). His independent work includes “Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl” (Edinburgh Fringe First Award) and “The Object Lesson” (Edinburgh Fringe First Award, Carol Tambor Award, Total Theatre Award, The New York Times Critics Pick). He has been a company member of Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company since 2001.
All of his work to date has premiered at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival before touring nationally and internationally. Sobelle’s work has been presented at the the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, The Kirk Douglas Theatre (CTG), Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Studio Theatre (DC), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Bard College, the Barbican Center (London), and has toured to Germany, Italy, France and South Korea.
As a teacher, Sobelle has led workshops all over the world in devised theatre creation, physical approach to character, clown and “jeu.” He is a teacher at the Pig Iron school in Philadelphia (APT) and is on faculty at Bard College. His projects have been supported by the MAP Fund, the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the Wyncote Foundation, US Arts International, the Princeton Atelier and the New England Foundation for the Arts. He is a 2006 Pew Fellow and is a 2009 Creative Capital grantee. Sobelle graduated with honors from Stanford University and trained in physical theatre at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris.