Founded in 1996 by Rachel Bowditch and Lea Bender, Vessel is a theatre company dedicated to exploring innovative intersections between physical theatre, public art, installation, dance, visual arts, and multi-media technology. Our goal is to create exciting, visually dynamic, original work. Our combined international experience results in a style that crosses the boundaries of theatrical form. Currently based in Phoenix, Arizona, Vessel draws actors, dancers, circus artists, playwrights, poets, musicians, and designers into a single creative endeavor.
Creating a common physical vocabulary through vigorous physical preparation drawing on Lecoq pedagogy, Viewpoints, and Rasaboxes actor training techniques among others is the foundation of our work. From the street to the stage, our aim is to create a poetry of space that brings our stories to life in dynamic, poignant, and visceral forms while creating a sense of intimacy and connection to our audiences.
Vessel is a not-for-profit (501c3) theatre company under the fiscal umbrella of Fractured Atlas.
Artistic Director, Rachel Bowditch
Rachel Bowditch (MA/Ph.D. /Associate Professor) is a theatre director, performer, performance studies scholar, and Head of the MFA in Performance in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She has a unique international background growing up and living overseas for 18 years. A U.S. citizen but born in Rome, Italy she lived in Italy; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Singapore; Tel Aviv, Israel; London, U.K; Paris, France; Saratoga Springs, NY; New York City and Phoenix, Arizona since 2006. Her studies at Skidmore College, the British American Drama Academy (BADA), Dell’ Arte School of Physical Theatre, Ecole de Jacques Lecoq International School of Physical Theatre, Suzuki and Viewpoints with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, and becoming a certified instructor in the rasaboxes actor training technique have helped her move toward achieving her vision of theater. She received her Masters degree and Ph.D. in Performance Studies, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2006.
Her performance and directing work has been featured and reviewed in American Theatre, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Theatre Journal, The Drama Review (TDR), Live Design, TYA Today, Newsweek, The Village Voice, the Wall Street Journal, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minneapolis Daily Planet, Aisle Say Twin Cities,Channel 8/PBS, ABC 15 News, Channel 12 news, Univision, the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix New Times among other publications. Vessel’s Spectrum was featured on the cover of the Visit Mesa Visitor’s Guide (2014). In April 2015 she was featured as one of the "Top 100 Creatives" by Origins magazine, NYC.
Transfix, Sedona 2007. Photo by Bruce Bowditch
Transfix in Central Park. Photo by Bill Durgin.
Aurora: Painted Desert, 2015. Photo by Scott London.
Photo by Scott London. Burning Man 2013.
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Spectrum, 2010. Photo by Chris Loomis.
Spectrum. Photo by Chris Loomis.