Imagine a secret society of inventors inviting the audience to collaboratively push the boundaries of current technology in a participatory-performance-meets-science-fair. The radical approach of Toast distills ingredients for innovation and applies them in a multimedia, participatory performance that fully and transparently harnesses the audience as an integral resource for the completion of the show in performance. Toast explores invention and discovery, the development of technology, and the intricate networks that weave us together.

dog & pony dc premiered Toast in the fall of 2014, expanding upon the elastic relationship between performer and audience and using traditional and non-traditional performance spaces throughout the Washington, DC area.

Initial devising of Toast began with an 8-month collection of public events—Incubator Series—that served as the cornerstone for dramaturgical research, creative development, and workshop phases. Incubator Series was inspired by intellectual “hotbeds” such as Enlightenment-era literary salons and current day open-source chat rooms. From book club-like gatherings where sources of inspiration were investigated to scientific discussions led by different science/technology scholar and artist pairings followed by demonstrations of audience integrated works-in-progress.

At the time of its premiere, dog & pony dc estimated over 150 “audience members” had actively contributed intellectually and artistically to the creation of Toast, making it a uniquely “crowd-sourced” theatre production.