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TG creates a new kind of performance that is visual, explosive and full of surprise. The Grottesco Ensemble rekindles interest in live performance by juxtaposing classical and modern theatrical styles with a daring, poetic research of culture and imagination, giving voice to the marginal elements of our contemporary society, and taking audiences to the brink of emotional wonder and soulful reflection.


Where We Began

Theater Grottesco was founded in 1983 in Paris, France, by John Flax and Didier Maucort, former members of Minneapolis’ Theatre de la Jeune Lune and graduates of France’s Ecole Jacques Lecoq. Joined shortly thereafter by Elizabeth Wiseman, another Lecoq graduate, the company has worked with an evolving ensemble with a tremendous range of theatrical expertise.

Together they have created 16 full-length plays and over 40 shorter pieces, performed in 8 countries, 31 states, most major U.S. cities and hundreds of smaller communities, garnering an international award for Best Production, 2 Drama Critic’s awards, a Rockefeller MAP Fund Grant, 14 National Endowment for the Arts Professional Theater Awards, an NEA advancement grant, a MetLife/TCG A-ha Do It grant, a Doris Duke/Andrew Mellon Mentorship award, numerous Network of Ensemble Theatre awards and a 2017 National Theatre Project Award, funded by the Mellon Foundation and administered by The New England Foundation for the Arts. In 1999, Theater Grottesco performed The Angels’ Cradle Off-Broadway at The New Victory Theater; that work will be permanently archived at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Company members have served in the acting ensemble at the Sundance Institute in Utah. Flax and Wiseman have served as guest directors and instructors of movement and the creation of original theater at theaters and in university programs across the country, in addition to 8 years each as NEA artists-in-the-schools. Theater Grottesco has been on the juried Western States, Arts Midwest and Michigan Touring Rosters. In 1985, the company moved to the United States, basing out of New York and Detroit before settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1996.


In 1996, Theater Grottesco moved to northern New Mexico to join an artistic community that had welcomed the company on three early U.S. tours. Grottesco is now a leader in the Santa Fe performing arts community. On-going youth, semi-professional and professional training along with open rehearsals displaying an intricate, deliberate and classically informed artistic process are attended by the city’s most promising and upcoming artists. They are also fertile ground for artists from other disciplines, audience members who value the exploration of creation and performance, and youth from all backgrounds.

In addition to individuals, Grottesco has worked with The Santa Fe Rape Crisis Center, Sweeney Elementary, Ortiz Middle School and the Theater Residency Project, The O’Keefe Boys Program, Pojoaque Middle School, Santa Fe Community College, The College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe High, Alvord Elementary with The National Dance Institute, Santa Fe Prep, Albuquerque Prep, The New Mexico Academy, The Southwest High School Theater and Dance Festival, The New Mexico Literary Program, The United World College, Working Classroom in Albuquerque, The University of New Mexico, The Southwest Theater Association, Taos High School, Middle School, and Special Education programs, The All Species Project, Santa Fe Shakespeare, Wisefool New Mexico, Santa Fe Performing Arts and the New Mexico Association of Grant Makers. In 2006, Theater Grottesco won the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Theater Grottesco is a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization.


At Theater Grottesco, we firmly stand against discrimination in all its forms. We are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other characteristic. We stand in solidarity with all communities around the world who face the daily burden of prejudice, and we recognize the urgent need for action to address systemic racism and discrimination. Through our art and our actions, we strive to promote understanding, empathy, and respect for all individuals and to create a better, more equitable world for everyone.

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