Proto-type are a company of multi-disciplinary artists making original performance work. This includes the socially-engaged Truth to Power Project; digital animation A Dangerous Thing; and touring theatre piece, A Machine they’re Secretly Building, which was part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase and long-listed for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.
They’ve also created a site-specific digital installation for Chester’s Roman Walls; Fortnight – a two-week-long immersive performance project using pervasive digital technologies (Theatre Sandbox Award – NESTA/Watershed, Bristol Old Vic); and a multimedia concert-performance featuring a live laptop orchestra and animation, The Good, the God, and the Guillotine which was part of Frequency in 2013.
Proto-type have been making work and supporting young artists in the US, the Netherlands, Russia, China, Armenia, France, Zimbabwe and the UK since 1997. Critics have called their work ‘an intriguing brush with altered reality’ (New York Times), ‘smartly intelligent, coolly reasoned theatre’ (The Guardian) and ‘enthralling’ (Zambezi News). They are Associate Artists of Lincoln Arts Centre for 2023-2026.
Get to know the artist
We asked Proto-type some questions to get to know them and their practice better.
What do you love most about being a part of our festival?
We were first involved with Frequency 10 years ago exactly as part of Freq 2013. We are delighted to be part of the festival once again – especially as we start our tenure as one of the official Associate Artists of Lincoln Arts Centre 2023-26. Frequency were there at the beginning of our journey at Lincoln, and now accompany us on the next step.
What would you like the audience to take away from experiencing your work?
We’ve been making political art and performance for a while now. It comes from a tense place of thinking that we “have had enough” while also feeling helpless to make the changes we want to see. We use our work as a form of protest, and as a place to gain knowledge, encourage resistance, and increase solidarity. We hope you might feel inspired and challenged to raise your voice, and to take action – no matter how small
How does your art connect with the local culture of Lincoln?
One-third of the company was born in Lincoln, and two-thirds live and work there!
We are a Lincoln-based company, with national and sometimes international reach. Everything we make and do is born out of the conversations and encounters we have with residents, students, and audiences at home and wherever we travel. We know that if we want to make work that people want to see, then we’d best ask them about it first!
Could you describe the feeling you get when you see your art resonating with people?
Our very favourite quote came from an audience member who saw a show we made about governments and money. He said: “It made me want to headbutt a bank”. Hearing that was exactly, and precisely the response we wanted.