History

We are a Denver-based performance company and artist services organization.

Founded in 2008 by artistic director Patrick Mueller, Control Group has built a reputation for relentless innovation and invested community development, grounded in the contemporary dance field but embracing a transdisciplinary approach that encompasses artistic innovation across forms and professional fields, from theatre and music to visual art and film. In recent years the company has found itself in the vanguard of the emerging Immersive Theatre movement in Denver.

Over our first five years, Control Group founded and operated two performance 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.

Our company works over this period dismantled traditional theater experiences, using our home venues as unique architectural and social sites to engage and transform differently in each work. Working from a dance-theatre platform, we explored innovative formats for non-proscenium and installation-style works, as well as pop-up events at festivals and in public spaces. Our Artist Services Program focused on professional development, artist residencies, co-productions, and curation of national and international touring works. Our Community Engagement Program connected with students in Title 1 schools and local community colleges.

In 2013, responding to the need to bring our work into new contexts and geographies, we began pursuing work primarily outside of theater venues – site-specific creations in public spaces, audience-mobile bus and walking tours, found spaces in homes, businesses, and unoccupied buildings. Our approaches began reaching further into audience-interactive tactics and formats.

As an itinerant performance company, we've created site-driven works locally in Denver, Aurora, Commerce City, Broomfield, and Boulder, as well as commissioned works for Open Dance Project in Houston, TX and Dance Initiative in Carbondale, CO.

We reconstituted our Artist Services Program within this itinerant model as well, hosting artist residencies and performance showcases at our 2013-18 residency space Colorado Conservatory of Dance, and offering professional classes at various metro area locations.

In 2017 we began the Guest Artist Presenting (GAP) Initiative, which brings our full producing resources to bear on 1-2 major productions each year by local emerging artists in pivotal career growth moments. In 2018 we unveiled our MAPS Trailer – Making Anywhere a Performance Space. In 2019 Control Group will assume permanent residency in the new home studio of artistic director Patrick Mueller and associate director Kristine Whittle.

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, the Denver Foundation, Broomfield Community Foundation, the Dugas Family Foundation, the Gilbert Family Trust, and other foundations, trusts, and individual donors.

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