8pm (a limited number of people can be in the house at a time, so stagger arrival times between 8-9:30pm)
43 W. Chestnut St.
Asheville, NC 28801
$10 at the door
emersion is a series of walk through immersive theater performance art installations created by different artists in the rooms of artistic director Grayson Morris’s hundred year old home. Audience members will journey through the rooms of the house and have different visual, auditory, sensual, and emotional experiences in each room. emersion takes place three times a year and features different visual, sound, and performance artists each time.
Grayson Morris is a multi-disciplinary artist and performer who has been building small worlds in her house for the past decade. Now, in her emersion series, she invites the public in to join her!
Contact: Grayson Morris
Artist and producer, Grayson Morris explains the history of emersion:
I put the down payment on this house in 2003 when I was a sophomore in college because I had gotten some inheritance from my grandmother and wanted to invest it responsibly. A craftsman style 5-bedroom in Montford, the house was built in 1906, which means it looked out over horse drawn carriages riding up Broadway Street. It came with wall to wall green shag carpeting. The bathrooms haven’t been renovated since the 70’s. An appraiser told me that I have a Freddy Kruger basement, which, at one point, I actually lived in in order to save money. For the past thirteen years I have had dozens of roommates and tenants–a veritable commune sometimes even featuring yard-dwellers. We used to call it Chestnut House or The Nut House and we had the best keg parties and Thanksgivings. Sometimes people ask me if it’s still a crazy community house and I say it’s mostly just me drinking tea alone staring at facebook. In my 30’s my standards for peace and cleanliness have risen and my roommates have decreased in number but I hold the same dream I have always held: for my house to be a fantastical place of creativity that brings people together.
I am a multi disciplinary artist but one of my main disciplines has always been fort art (or installation art if you want, but specifically fort-based installations). I never outgrew my childhood love of building small spaces to crawl inside of. Throughout the years of living at The Chestnut House I have built many different kinds of forts out of found materials and had small parties in them–usually with food and libations, often enough with wigs, pets, and puppets. I love all art forms but more than any others I love immersive theater and performance art. Last year I found myself finally living alone in the large downstairs part of my house and I thought, this is it: time to create my “art house”– time to actualize my dream of creating different interesting spaces in the rooms of my house and populating them with performers. And so in January 2016 I debuted my art house, emersion, at the Asheville Fringe Festival. I lost money and had a very small turnout due to snow, but in May we came back with a vengeance, selling out the show a week before opening night. In the process of creating emersion, I have to share so much of myself, my space, my stuff, my life, and I have to surrender to a scary goal: trying to produce my life’s work (a complicated show on a shoe string budget) without really knowing how it’s going to turn out. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of interest and support from my friends and acquaintances who have helped with the many many hours of work and brain power it takes to pull the show off. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, at times the bane of my existence, and also my very favorite thing in the world.