The Hinterlands is a Detroit-based company formed in 2009 by Richard Newman and Liza Bielby. The ensemble has created a range of work from psychedelic Wild West shows to immersive documentary film to sub-cultural Vaudeville evenings. From our original touring pieces to events we curate in our Detroit neighborhood, our work is built around pressing into the unknown areas of our personal and collective history with fearless physicality and a sense of humor. We smash seemingly disparate images and ideas together to create new, highly layered meanings that are greater than the sum of their parts. We bring our audience into this unknown space through techniques that disarm and disorient — short-circuiting expectations and luring them into unexpected interactions. Our ongoing physical training practice is the foundation of our performance practice and a means of interacting across disciplines and cultures.
In addition to their performance work, Richard and Liza are artists-in-residents and program curators of Play House, a Detroit neighborhood-based performance space that is managed in collaboration with Power House Productions. The Hinterlands also curated and organized The Porous Borders Festival, a two-day festival exploring the municipal and cultural borders along the Hamtramck/Detroit divide. The ensemble has conducted multiple international collaborations including The Breaking Bread Performance Project in Kosovo and numerous exchanges with Chinese performance artists in Chengdu, Shanghai, Zigong, and Beijing.