Perforing Art: Visual and performing art in collaboration

"My attention was focused in more on the artwork than if I had just gone on my own -- the performance amplified my experience of the art, and helped me notice small things I might not have otherwise."


"It was so much fun to see people perform, move through, and sing in a space that is typically reserved for whispers. It felt like we were breaking new ground or maybe breaking some rules!"


"The performance helped take some of the intimidation out of museum going... I believe I was smiling ear to ear for the full performance."


"I found the performance to be an exciting way to experience the space in a new way. The performance added dimension and refreshed our viewpoint of what an art museum could be."




 On April 10th, the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Laboratory and the Dorsky Museum presented  Performing Art 2022, a live performance devised by members of the community under the direction of Liz Dahmen, inspired by visual art on display in the current exhibit “Mary Frank: The Observing Heart.”

The making of the very first Performing Art in February, 2020.


Performing Art is a collaborative project produced by the Lab that brings together an ensemble of creators - including actors, songwriters, filmmakers, and more - to collaboratively develop a performance in response to current museum and gallery exhibitions.


Using the Lab’s devised theatre techniques, we take inspiration from art currently on display and create one of a kind, site-specific performances that explore the relationship between performing and visual art.


In the early months of 2021, the Lab collaborated for a second time with the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, New York. Despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we created a series of short films that could be accessed in the museum via an interactive map while the 2021 Spring Exhibition was live, as well as virtually. Nine short films were produced that responded to 8 exhibits throughout the museum.


While each short film was created as a standalone piece, they have been preserved here as one unit.

A series of 9 short films devised remotely by Hudson Valley performing artists in response to the Dorsky Museum's Spring 2021 exhibitions.



Bringing performance into visual art spaces is a dynamic way to increase awareness of art institutions by promoting community engagement and injecting a shot of energy that is both invigorating to habitual museum-goers as well as enticing to folks who might not otherwise find themselves in visual arts spaces. 

Whether you’re looking for a small one-day workshop or a longer and more fleshed-out production, we’re happy to sit down with you ahead of time to discover what kind of development scenario best suits your needs.

If you are interested in learning more about how a devised theater experience with the Lab can benefit your institution, contact Artistic Director Liz Dahmen directly at

"Two organizations become greater than what they are individually… our exhibitions are now extending out of the walls and through people."

- Zachary Bowman, Manager of Education & Visitor Experience at The Dorsky Museum