We are a Colorado-based platform for contemporary performance research, creation, distribution, and advocacy. Our project-based model fronts collaboration and concept-driven planning and process. Grounded in a dance-theatre/intermedia perspective, our works open up expansive potentials within the field of live art, pursuing critical innovations in form, function, and engagement.
For us, each project seeks a unique formulation of materials, medium, and mode of engagement, allowing the process to define the nature and needs of the product. Our artistic research drives at the limits of human control and agency, the push points between person and situation. The work freely intersects reality and imagination, interlacing visceral sensory experiences, richly evocative action and imagery, and the construction of precarious utopian projects of confrontation and transcendence.
Founded in 2008 by artistic director Patrick Mueller, Control Group has created over a dozen major works, from stage performances to site-specific, installation, and film projects. Through our Artist Services program Control Group has founded two Denver venues – The Packing House Center for the Arts (2008-10) and work|space Denver (2011-15) – where we incubated new works, presented events by dozens of local and touring artists, hosted artists in residence, and provided other services to the local professional community. The company currently enjoys an on-going artist residency at Colorado Conservatory of Dance, with whom we co-administer much of our Artist Services programming.
Control Group has received project and commissioning support from The Biennial of the Americas, Denver Theatre District, the Denver Office of Arts & Venues, and BINDERY|space; and its work has been presented by RedLine Gallery, Naropa University, Dance Initiative Carbondale, American Dance Festival’s MFA program, Boulder Fringe Festival, and others. Our work is supported by Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment for the Arts, Colorado’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Broomfield Community Foundation, the Dugas Family Foundation, the Gilbert Family Trust, and other foundations, trusts, and individual donors.
Patrick Mueller (Artistic Director / Performer) grew up in Colorado and studied dance and performance art at Pomona College (Claremont, CA). He spent a year as a Graduate Fellow at Ohio State University, and holds an MFA from Hollins University and American Dance Festival.
Patrick worked as a performer and administrator with various companies in New York and Europe, including Ben J. Riepe Kompanie (DE), Mancopy Danse (DK), and Troika Rance Dance-Theatre (NY). He recently collaborated on and performed in the immersive spectacle Sweet & Lucky by Third Rail Projects (NY), presented for an extended 12-week run by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
As the Artistic Director of Control Group, Patrick has been the driving force behind the company’s creative work: serving as lead director on all projects, as well as performer and/or lighting designer for the majority the company’s body of work. As a curator of two Control Group-founded venues, he has presented several hundred events by leading innovators in the local dance and theatre scene, and has helped birth several other new companies. His choreographic vision and approaches have redefined the leading edge of innovation and quality in Denver’s burgeoning performance scene, and his commitment to collaboration has yielded partnerships with major civic initiatives and a broad array of extraordinary artists across many disciplines. He recently created the commissioned half-evening work Tiny Utopias for Houston’s Open Dance Project, under the direction of Annie Arnoult.
Patrick has taught dance technique and theory at Naropa University; Red Rocks Community College, where he helped establish a major in Dance; the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive; Colorado Conservatory of Dance; Excel Summer Program at Williams and Amherst Colleges; and at various other studios, schools, and festivals. He lives in Lakewood, CO with his wife Kristine and their hilarious, adorable 3-year-old son.
Todd Bilsborough (Composer / Company Member) was born in Denver. He served in the US Army from 2003 to 2009, including a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and went on to study music at Naropa University after returning to civilian life. He has been playing and performing in various styles and on various instruments for over two decades. Todd has been featured both as a live musician and sound designer in dozens of theatrical and concert performances since 2010.
His work has appeared in performances by square product theatre and Wild Heart Dance, and he has performed in several other works by Control Group Productions, including (the world we’ve created), CREATION (re-creation), CAVE / dances made to be viewed in the dark, and the WHOLENESS installation at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. He regularly performs on electric bass with the acclaimed avant-garde music ensemble Hamster Theatre, and his improvisational percussion work can be heard on Janet Feder’s album T H I S C L O S E.
Ben Waugh (Company Member) is a performance artist with an MFA from Naropa University. His work ranges from the pure enjoyment of human skill to the postmodern questioning of experience and performance. He has recently performed with Boulder’s The Band of Toughs in I Miss My MTV and As You Like It as well as the Frequent Flyer’s production Theatre of the Vampires. He recently founded The Great Perhaps Performance Collective, based in Boulder, co-directing the production of Beckett’s Play.
Kristine Whittle lives, works and merrily frolics in Denver, the town she has decided to call home after many adventures across the U.S. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University, and has danced in the companies of Ann Ludwig Dance Theatre, Barbara Grubel Dance, and Aura Fischbeck Dance. Kristine is a founding member of Control Group, and also works as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Anusara-Inspired Yoga Instructor.