Laboratory for Enthusiastic Collaboration

The Laboratory for Enthusiastic Collaboration (LEC) was founded in 1996 by Aaron Kahn. The research of the LEC probes the unique phenomenon of the performance event. Specifically, the LEC explores the practices of audiences and performers as they converge on a single point. That point in physical space and the narrative frame of the event are treated as variable conditions in laboratory experiments made possible only in collaboration with the spectator. Ira S. Murfin became an active member of the LEC as Playwright in Residence in 1999. Beautiful Losers, which he adapted from Leonard Cohen's 1966 novel in collaboration with Kahn, who directed, and the rest of the company, was seen at Montréal 2000: The Leonard Cohen Event, The Hooker-Dunham Theater in Brattleboro, Vt, and at Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI) as part of the Montreal Fringe Festival. in 2004 Murfin became Co-Arrtistic Director of the company, a position which he held until 2007. The Values American Live By: a piece of theatre, a collectively created response to L. Robert Kohls' pamphlet of the same name, was developed that year in residence at Cazenovia College, NY and toured the U.S., Thailand, and India, including The Delhi Alternative Theater Festival, Auroville, Podaitk in Kolkata, The Bangkok Theater Festival, Tim Robbins' Actor’s Gang in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Carnegie Center for Visual + Performing Arts in Covington, KY, the Chicago Director's Festival at Bailiwick, Arcosanti, and the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference. Since incorporating as a 501(c)3 not for profit in 2007, the LEC has made no work, a fact which is possibly itself an extended theatrical experiment. Aaron Kahn, now based in Vilnius, Lithuania,  maintains the company name and non-profit status for possible use in future projects. A web-based artifact of the LEC’s theatrical past remains available at L4EC.org.