Macey Pioneers Performance Tech

By Vineeth Bajji

Artist and performer Mark Macey graduated from the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater’s Professional Training Program. Currently, he attends the University of Utah where he studies theatre performance. During his career, Macey has been involved with many notable performances, including Studio 115’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” “Eclipsed” by Danai Gurira and more recently “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” by Nassim Soleimanpour, an Iranian playwright.

Macey’s journey into the arts, specifically theatrical performance and multimedia, began in elementary school. Macey cited his recurrent performances in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as a big motivator for his interest in the theatrical arts. He also gave acknowledgements to his family for coming out to support his performances in school plays. As his skills in theater began to progress, Macey participated in performances at large-scale festivals, like the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah.

While Macey continues to appreciate theater, he became interested in a new aspect of art during his sophomore year. This new art form, visual design, is the intersect between performance and multimedia. According to Macey, this aspect of visual design is a relatively unexplored aspect of art, especially at the university. Furthermore, he is looking into video manipulation and how to incorporate sculptures and light sculptures. With this, Macey said he is hoping to do pioneering work with 3-D projection mapping.

More recently, Macey and his collective, a company called Suckerpunch, presented a piece at The Gateway named “ODD: The Micro Odyssey.” The performance was executed in an 800 square foot room and told the bag of winds story from the “Odyssey” using sculptures, three performance pieces, soundscapes and virtual reality elements. Macey took part in one of the performances where an industrial sized fan was pointed at him as he held onto a white parachute. The white color was chosen for aesthetic reasons. Macey commented that the performance became a question of how long you could keep your hands up and he posed the question whether there would be gold, silver or wind in the bag?

Suckerpunch is a company that was developed by Macey and four others in 2016. One of the company’s first goals is to begin building a portfolio for the company and produce seven to eight projects under the company name. According to Macey, the next year will bring the challenge of applying to be a nonprofit organization and obtain year-long grants to pursue relevant arts projects. Aside from this business aspect, Macey said the company’s predominant goal lies in the social aspect of art. After evaluations, he said the company will be geared towards producing consistent work that positively impacts the community and will bring the community together in a manner that intersects with the provided performance space and the company’s performance goals.

Suckerpunch has a Facebook page under its company name, and its website will go live in early January. Additionally, Macey mentioned there will be an upcoming performance early next year that will be an immersive horror and dinner theater performance titled “Dracula.”

As for aspiring artists, he does offer a bit of wisdom.

“For me, you’ve got to be making your own work,” Macey said. “Even if you’ve got to set up shop in your uncle’s garage or work in the middle of the night, you’ve got to be doing something. Don’t wait around and network and expect something to happen. … Just never stop making things no matter how small or insignificant they feel. They aren’t.”

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