The Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble was founded in 1997 in NYC by Artistic/Producing Director, Leese Walker. Its mission is to promote empathy, free-thinking and greater social awareness through provocative theatre and educational outreach. Its work is guided by the words of Bertolt Brecht, "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it."
Performers collaborate through an ensemble-based, improvisational process to create politically-charged, original works that addresses socially relevant issues.
The permanent ensemble is comprised of world-class musicians, dancers, visual artists and actors.
The earliest productions were completely unscripted, with actors and musicians collaborating in performance to spontaneously create stories through improvisation. Today, the pieces are partially set, with the scripted sections generated through improvisation in rehearsal.
Following a six-year residence at the Theatre at St. Clements in Times Square, Strike Anywhere formed an alliance with the Brecht Forum, a progressive social-justice organization. From 2003-present, Strike Anywhere has produced a variety of shows and outreach programs at the Brecht Forum, including two extended runs of 10 Brecht Poems. In 2007, Strike Anywhere became a resident company of the Zipper Theater, one of New York City's most unique theatrical venues.
Strike Anywhere tours extensively; its critically-acclaimed production, 10 Brecht Poems has played at over 40 venues and was aired in full on local NY television. In July-August 2004, SA's Artistic/Producing Director, Leese Walker, was awarded the prestigious APPEX (Asia Pacific Performance Exchange) fellowship that allowed her to join 16 artists from around the world in a 6-week artistic exchange in Bali, Indonesia.
Strike Anywhere has been featured on NPR, WBAI, German Public Radio and U.S. television. The company has appeared nationally at the Goethe Institut (Washington DC), Theatre Building Chicago, the Magdalena Festival, the KO Festival of Performance, the Catskill Festival of New Theatre, the Network of Ensemble Theatres Festival and the Fury Factory Festival. Locally, the ensemble has played at a variety of venues including: P.S. 122, Theatre for the New City, Galapagos, C.U.N.Y. and HERE Arts Center. Educational venues include Brown University, Penn State, Trinity College, Hood College, Muhlenberg, N.Y.U. and several S.U.N.Y. schools.
Shows currently touring include: 10 Brecht Poems and Soundpainting. Shows currently in development include John Lennon: a Soundpainting and SoundpaintingShakespeare.