Mytho? Lure of Wildness

2016 Fay Chandler Creativity Grant

Anna Kohler, MYTHO? The Lure of Wildness, 2016. Credit: Paula Court.
Anna Kohler, Katiana Rangel and Adam Strandberg, MYTHO? The Lure of Wildness, 2016. Credit: Jane Stein.
Anna Kohler and Hapi Phace, MYTHO? The Lure of Wildness. Credit: Jane Stein.
Anna Kohler and Katiana Rangel, MYTHO? The Lure of Wildness, 2016. Credit: Carlos David.

"... an incisive meditation on age and youth, the female body as an object of art and desire, the easy power of nubile beauty and what’s left when that goes away" – The New York Times


Mytho? Lure of Wildnessis a surround-sensorial theatrical experience/experiment, conceived and performed by MIT faculty member Anna Kohler and directed by lecturer Caleb Hammond. It is an experiment, a study of the beast within, of beauty and its transformation from young and fresh to old and worn, but not resigned.

In the workshop phase, the production delved into the areas of a stage actor’s performance that overlap with cinematography and a painter’s vision of the human model, and aims to bring the work done with performers (including several MIT students and alums) to its fullest performative realization by creating a full sensory experience. The project has developed and adapted immersive technology to surround the audience with the aromas of Morocco, Paris and the South of France, and continues to develop autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) as a performance technique. By incorporating emerging scientific technologies with avant-garde approaches to performance, Mytho? aims to inspire MIT students and the community at large to continue to emphasize the potential for finding art in science and using science in art.

Mytho? is suspended between actual experience and fictional material. It is an original play/movie, a fluid staging of the model’s world and memory scenes inspired by material from Robert Bresson’s films and writings, Tennessee Williams’ plays, and Anna Kohler’s own experiences as a painter’s model in France. The piece was workshopped at MIT in 2015-16 with a team of undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alum; later incorporating the cutting-edge research of the Media Lab into a live theatrical performance that fully submerges the audience into the world being presented onstage and all around them.


Past Events

Mytho? Lure of Wildness (world premiere)
December 9 – 22, 2016
Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street, New York, NY

Mytho? Lure of Wildness (preview performances)
Friday, October 28, 2016 / 8:00pm
Saturday, October 22, 2016 / 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA


Senior Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts, Anna Kohler is a stage and screen actor and director. Kohler laid the foundation for her work through studies of acting and directing at the Mozarteum Salzburg, Austria and Université VIII Vincennes, Paris, France. Joining the New York experimental theater scene in 1982, Kohler has worked on stage with some of America’s most respected playwrights, actors, and directors. In recent years, Kohler’s focus on teaching has become an integral part of her artistic life. Her distinctive style of teaching is based on the unique combination of her work in both traditional and modern theater in Europe and her work at the forefront of experimental theater in the US.

Biography: MIT Music and Theater Arts

Ben Bloomberg is a Grammy-nominated creative technologist who imagines, designs, and builds everything from electro-acoustic musical instruments to AI-driven performances and tours. He specializes in the conception and implementation of advanced surround sound and interactive music systems.


Caleb Hammond is a teacher and creator of theater and visual art. Hammond has taught theater and art at Eugene Lang College (The New School), Hartford Art School, and Carnegie Mellon. He has been a special guest lecturer at Colgate University and the Toyoma Glass Institute in Japan.

Biography: MIT Music and Theater Arts

Senior Lecturer Emerita in French Sabine Levet has taught a range of subjects in the French & Francophone Studies Curriculum. She played a major role in the French-language cultural immersion program, January Scholars in France, leading many of the student trips abroad. Levet has written articles and chapters about the development of tools for cross-cultural understanding and has given talks and workshops on intercultural communication, the teaching of culture, and the use of technology in language teaching and learning.

Biography: MIT Global Languages


Conceived and performed by Anna Kohler

Director: Caleb Hammond

Performers: Hapi Phace, Alenka Kraigher, and Katiana Rangel

Lighting Designer: Jeffrey Nash

Video Artists: Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) .

In the Media

“… an incisive meditation on age and youth, the female body as an object of art and desire, the easy power of nubile beauty and what’s left when that goes away.”

– The New York Times: “Review: ‘Mytho? Lure of Wildness’ Teases the Senses