– definite article: used to refer to a person, place, or thing that is unique.
– adjective: of or relating to the U.S. or its citizens.
– adjective: experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person.
the american vicarious is a not-for-profit generator of creative content across disciplinary boundaries that aspires to reflect on America’s ideals and realities, and that which unites and divides its people.
The artistic work of the american vicarious does not directly portray American society at any one time, in any one way. It is specifically ambiguous, encourages a sense of timelessness and universal applicability. In this way, the american vicarious attempts to portray what it sees as the universal conflicts and currents that drive American society, and the way those conflicts and currents have produced an American society that is both messy but also founded on common ideals of justice, freedom, and citizens’ responsibility.
Christopher McElroen, Artistic Director
Christopher is a Brooklyn-based media artist committed to generating artistic content, across disciplinary boundaries, that aspires to reflect on America: its ideals and realities and that which unites and divides its people. He is the Founding Artistic Director of the american vicarious. Christopher’s two most recent projects, Debate: Baldwin vs Buckley and Static Apnea (2020), were both listed as “Highbrow and Brilliant” in New York Magazine's Approval Matrix. In collaboration with four-time Grammy Award nominee Gerald Clayton, Christopher developed and directed Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation, which was presented at Harlem Stage in June 2022.
Christopher received a 2013 Helen Hayes Award for his direction of the world premiere stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s iconic novel Invisible Man. Alongside visual artist Paul Chan and Creative Time, Christopher co-produced and directed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, a year-long community development through the arts initiative in post-Katrina New Orleans. The archives from the production were acquired into the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Christopher had the honor of directing 51st (dream) State, the final work of poet, musician, and activist Sekou Sundiata, which premiered at BAM's Next Wave Festival. Christopher co-founded the Classical Theatre of Harlem, where from 1999 to 2009, he oversaw 41 productions yielding 18 AUDELCO Awards, 6 OBIE Awards, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards, and a Drama Desk Award.
Erica Laird, Producing Director
Erica joined the american vicarious following several years as General Manager of The Flea Theater, and seven years as Managing Director with The Builders Association where she oversaw all the company’s operations and produced the development, premieres and touring of HOUSE / DIVIDED, SONTAG: REBORN and ELEMENTS OF OZ.
Previously she was Marketing and Residency Manager at the Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston (now ArtsEmerson), and Senior Associate at NYC international booking agency Micocci Productions, where she booked tours for companies including STREB, Big Dance Theater, SITI Company and Mabou Mines. Erica provides general management and/or financial services to various non-profit organizations including The Flea Theater, Space on Ryder Farm, Target Margin Theater and Caborca, and is a member of the Board of Directors for The Builders Association.
Robyn Sunderland, Marketing Manager
Robyn is pleased to be collaborating with the american vicarious after several years as Booking and Promotions Manager for The Builders Association on I Agree to the Terms, Ten Stories: A Decameron from The Builders, and ELEMENTS OF OZ. She spent nine years as Booking and Promotions Manager at Aruba Productions | FPA, managing their Off-Broadway and U.S. tour bookings, marketing, and ticketing operations.
She was Associate General Manager at Sundance Productions | BB Promotions, handling artist contracts and international tour logistics on European/ UK tours on the Olivier-nominated production of West Side Story, and Queen Esther Marrow & the Harlem Gospel Singers; Operations and Sponsorship Manager at Out Of The Blue LGBTQ Strategic Marketing on MTV's Logo TV and Showtime's L-Word nationwide launches; and Project Manager at Foster Entertainment on Tony-nominated Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway, and Rufus Wainwright Sings Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall.
President: Michael Goodin
Andy Cmiel, Joan Magoolghan, Christopher McElroen