Peculiar Works Project was founded in 1993 by Ralph Lewis, Catherine Porter and Barry Rowell to create original performances that are accessible and engaging for diverse audiences. Using various artistic disciplines in unique combinations, this Obie Award-winning company challenges the conventions of alternative theater. From initial concept to full production, PWP encourages collaboration, experimentation and a rebel spirit in creative artists by providing the tools and opportunities to realize their artistic goals.
Since beginning as a play reading series over two summers, the development process has been central to PWP's work. The company originates and develops both intimate theatrical works in non-theater spaces, utilizing multimedia design, and large-scale performance events that breathe life into entire NYC buildings. With the core program, Peculiar WorkSites, we commission collaborative teams from a wide variety of artistic disciplines to create new performances for unique sites. The company provides workspace, technical support, material resources, financial compensation and artistic guidance for the collaboration. Each team has the opportunity to explore across disciplinary lines and, through the presentation of public workshops, receive crucial audience feedback.
By building partnerships with other organizations, PWP creates opportunities that bring this unusual work to new and growing audiences. Some of our successful past productions were co-produced in association with the arts organizations such as Lincoln Center Directors Lab, LaMama ETC., HERE Arts Center, New Georges, Soho ThinkTank, Dixon Place, The Culture Project, Gertrude Stein Rep., and community and commercial institutions including Judson Church, Merchant's House Museum, Whole Foods Market, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Middle Collegiate Church, NY Marble Cemetery, New Deal Realty, Fourth Arts Block Association, Gershwin Hotel, Jimmy's No. 43, NY Marble Cemetery, Envoy Gallery, Instituto Cervantes, Jefferson Market Library and Garden, Zipper Factory, CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center and the Downtown Arts Festival, among others.
PWP has presented more than 100 projects and performance events over the years, supporting more than 100 artists each year in innovative creations like In Praise of Folly: the Don Quixote Project, The Beggar's Opera, Judson House Project, It's Good Enough for Me, Privileged & Confidential, BIG ART in small places, and many more. Several of these productions have been singled out in The New York Times, American Theatre, Wired, Village Voice, Time Out/NY, Digital Coast Weekly and Stage Directions; honored with a Back Stage Bistro award and Helen Hayes nomination; and published by Dramatic Publishing Company.