“A no-pressure environment where you could move at your own pace… allowed us to create our own movement recipe, a great lesson in composition.” – Bushwick Daily News

Educational Offerings


Third Rail Projects offers workshops that share the tools and methods employed in our creative process, emphasizing the skills we have been developing while making our contemporary dance, site-specific, and immersive works. Capturing the spirit of collaboration that is the foundation of our work, our courses bringing artists of all backgrounds and mediums together to explore topics through experimentation and discourse.

For more information about our educational offerings or to schedule a workshop, contact Third Rail Projects at


2016 Workshops

June Workshops

Immersive Performance Skills: Soft Bodies, Hard Surfaces
Thursday, June 9, 12pm-3pm
at The Kingsland Ward
3 hours for $40

Taught by Marissa Nielsen-Pincus, Associate Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects, this three-hour workshop will share the methods and skills that Third Rail Projects has developed to create movement in site specific and immersive environments, investigating how to yield into, counter, locomote over and explore whats possible when moving on architecture and furniture. This workshop will delve into the questions that arise: How do we take care of our bodies? How do we take safe risks? And how do we make movement that is organic to the particular structure we are working on? Open to all skill levels. A dance or theater background is not required, but a willingness to move and explore is a requisite.

Immersive Performance Skills: Cultivating Presence and Listening
Wednesday, June 15, 12pm-3pm
at The Kingsland Ward
3 hours for $40

This three-hour course explores building skills for performing without a fourth wall. Participants will experiment with what it means to be in the present moment as a performer in an immersive setting using sensory awareness, focus, and task based games and actions to cultivate presence and relationships to the audience as well as fellow performers. Led by Marissa Nielsen-Pincus, Associate Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects, this course is based on a toolbox of skills used by Third Rail Projects in its immersive and site-specific performances.

Past Projects:

Primary Stages Workshop Creative Lab: Immersive Theater Directing February – April, 2015 Led by Jennine Willett, this 5-week, hands-on directing lab was designed to create work that engages the audience and blurs the fourth wall. This was an opportunity for directors who want to explore these new, popular forms while working on their feet in a collaborative environment.  Over the first four sessions, they learned the methods and tools developed by Third Rail Projects when making their experiential theater productions, and then applied these skills, step by step, to their own directing projects.

Photo by Joe Mazza Brave Lux

Albany Park Theater Project August 11th – 17th, 2014 Last summer, Third Rail Projects’ Co-Artistic Director Jennine Willett along with company members Marissa Nielsen-PincusEdward Rice, and Carlton Cyrus Ward visited Chicago to share the company’s immersive performing techniques with APTP’s youth ensemble. The residency culminated in a 40-minute showing that took audiences on an immersive journey into a Chicago public high school. Although the showings were only meant to be outlines of ideas, they were received with so much excitement and such an overwhelming audience response that both companies decided to continue the collaboration and use these sketches to devise a new work for APTP’s youth artists.  Now entitled Learning Curve, this collaboration between Third Rail Projects and Albany Park Theater Project will continue to develop, culminating in a full-length and fully-produced immersive performance that will premiere in the summer of 2016.

53“THIRD RAIL” THURSDAY – Materials for the Arts July 24th, 2014 Jennine Willett led a workshop at Materials for The Arts sharing the ways that MFTA has been a source of materials as well as inspiration for the environments found in many of Third Rail Projects’ projects. Using materials found in the warehouse that day, participants created mini-immersive environments and installations and used them as inspiration to build theatrical scenes.

Performance at the Center July, 2014

Performance at the Center was a two week summer institute, held at Columbia University’s Teachers College, that brought high school students and teachers together to co-create a multimedia production inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Jennine Willett (Co-Artistic Director) and Julia Kelly (Company Member) shared Third Rail Projects’ methods for generating movement material from a text, teaching participants how to use the body to enhance meaning through choreography and ways to integrate this into their performance.

Third Rail Projects in Hong Kong 2010

Watch the 2010 documentary of Third Rail Projects’ site-specific workshops and performances in Hong Kong. Led by Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Directors Tom Pearson and Zach Morris, participants organized by Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation collaborated to create a site-specific, immersive dance theater work for the Bethanie, a former French sanatorium in the mountains of Pok Fu Lam.

Press Coverage

Dance Enthusiast - May Workshops with Third Rail Projects‏ Dance Enthusiast | May 2014 Dance MagazineFeeling the Rush By Jen Peters | Dance Magazine | March 2011 The Student Standard - Room to manoevre By Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation | The Student Standard | April 12, 2010 CUP MagazineInterview with Tom Pearson and Zach Morris CUP Magazine Issue 099 | April 2010 Florida School of the Arts’ College Connection - FloArts alumni return with seasoned advice College Connection | April 2009 South China Morning PostStudents step up to dance with the professionals  By Liz Gooch | South China Morning Post | December 8th, 2007 Hong Kong Economic JournalUrban Dance Festival Body beautiful By Gigi Lam | Hong Kong Economic Journal | December 4, 2007 South China Morning Post - Dancing in the Streets By Rebecca Tsui | South China Morning Post | November 11, 2007