Manual Cinema conjures 'Frankenstein theater and film at OZ Arts

Chicago’s renowned multimedia theater company launches US tour in Nashville the week before Halloween with the haunting reimagining of Mary Shelley’s gothic tale.

NASHVILLE, TENN.Oct. 1, 2019 – Chicago’s renowned multimedia theater company Manual Cinema brings its unforgettable take on the classic story of Frankenstein to OZ Arts Nashville with four highly-anticipated performances Oct. 24-26, 2019, just in time for Halloween.

This Nashville engagement marks the first stop on the production’s US tour after critically acclaimed performances in Chicago, New York, and Edinburgh. Stitching together Frankenstein with brilliant author Mary Shelley’s own biography, Manual Cinema utilizes a spellbinding chamber orchestrahandmade shadow puppetry, and cinematic techniques to conjure a living, breathing film performance before the audience’s eyes.

“Manual Cinema will transform our creative warehouse into a theatrical soundstage, inviting us to experience the story of Frankenstein in a completely fresh way,” says OZ Arts Artistic Director Mark Murphy. “With breathtaking stagecraft, the production combines elements of theater and live film to draw haunting parallels between Mary Shelley’s life and those of her iconic creations. It is a perfectly spooky Halloween centerpiece for theater-goers, cinema fans, and bibliophiles alike.” 

Manual Cinema is a Chicago-based performance collective, design studio, and film/video production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema by imbuing it with immediacy, ingenuity, and theatricality. 

In Frankenstein, Manual Cinema presents love, loss, and creation in stories of Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his Monster to expose how the forces of family, community, and education shape personhood—or destroy it by their absence. 

For more information about Manual Cinema, visit:  

Video of Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:  Manual Cinema Frankenstein 

Tickets to Frankenstein at OZ Arts Nashville, Oct. 24-26, start at $25 and are on sale now at

For more Halloween-themed fun, mark your calendars for Fable Cry’s Festival of Ghouls coming to OZ Arts on Nov. 2, 2019. Put on a costume and bring your ghoulish best to this immersive Halloween party and over-the-top cabaret created by Nashville-based rock wonders Fable Cry. The local legends enlist the talents of artists from the worlds of burlesque, cabaret, spectacle, and the visual arts to conjure an unpredictable Halloween extravaganza. 

Press Quotes About Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein

 “An ingenious merger of live music and captivating visuals. No matter where you look, you’ll find beauty and intrigue.” — Chicago Sun-Times 

“…an exquisitely stylized, self-contained reality that seems to belong both to the early 19th century, when Shelley’s novel was written, and to the dark corridors of its author’s imagination.” -- Ben Brantley, The New York Times Frankenstein, January 2019 

“…impossible to look away” -- Daily Beast Frankenstein, January 2019 

“…an experience like none other…ingenious” -- Exeunt NYC Frankenstein, January 2019 

“a complex visual treat…impressive in scope and execution, entertaining, and (especially if you’ve never seen Manual Cinema before) absolutely fascinating to watch.” -- Karen Topham, Chicago On Stage, ★★★★ Highly Recommended Frankenstein, November 2018 

“-an ingenious merger of live music and captivating visuals. No matter where you look, you’ll find beauty and intrigue.” -- Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times Frankenstein, November 2018 

“ambitious…the epitome of what creative theater can be.” -- Michael Horn, Around the Town Chicago Frankenstein, December 2018 

“brimming with accomplished performances and imaginative images, colored with sights and sounds, light and shadow…a majestic accomplishment that boggles the mind.” -- Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review Frankenstein, November, 2018 

About OZ Arts Nashville’s 2019-2020 Season

The 2019-2020 season is the 7th season for OZ Arts and the first under its new Artistic Director Mark Murphy’s direction. This dynamic season of its signature “Brave New Art” features a unique blend of influential contemporary artists and ensembles from around the world, as well as groundbreaking Nashville-based artists, with a special emphasis on multidisciplinary performances, and work that highlights unique new uses of visual and audio technology. The season is made possible with generous support from season sponsor Advance Financial

Murphy describes the new season as “a celebration of ingenuity and artistic vitality, highlighting artistic voices from around the world – and right here in Nashville – who are blazing the trail for contemporary culture. I am particularly excited that we are expanding OZ Arts’ international offerings, while also deepening the commitment to a wide range of diverse local artists in a variety of disciplines and forms – including some progressive and edgy collaborations that will ‘shake things up’ and engage a young and diverse audience.” 

The number of performances at OZ Arts is increased by more than double in this new season, while the average ticket price is considerably lower to help make the work more accessible to a wide range of Nashville audiences. 

Remaining Season Presentations Include:   

  • Frankenstein by Manual Cinema (Oct. 24-26, 2019)
  • Festival of Ghouls by Fable Cry (Nov. 2, 2019)
  • Na Pista and a US Premiere by Companhia Urbana de Dança – Brazil (Nov. 14 – 17, 2019)
  • Mellotron Variations featuring Medeski/Sansone/Kirkscey/Grant (Dec. 7, 2019)
  • The Longest Night by Portara Ensemble, Jeff Coffin, and Ciona Rouse (Dec. 20-21, 2019)
  • The Day featuring Wendy Whelan and Maya Beiser (Jan. 18, 2020)
  • Notes of a Native Song by Stew & Heidi with The Negro Problem (Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2020)
  • The Triangle by New Dialect (Feb. 20-22, 2020)
  • Plata Quemada (Burnt Money) by TeatroCinema – Chile (March 5-7, 2020)
  • Steal Away by Dave Ragland with Inversion Vocal Ensemble (April 17-18, 2020)
  • Grace and Mercy by Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE (May 8-10, 2020)
  • This Holding by Jana Harper (May 29-30, 2020)
  • Grand Magnolia by Jessika Malone and Collaborators (June 10-21, 2020)

One-minute highlight reel of 2019-2020 Season: OZ Arts 2019-2020 Season Highlight Reel

About OZ Arts Nashville

Since opening in 2014, OZ Arts Nashville, a 501(c)(3) contemporary arts center, has changed the cultural landscape of the city. Housed in the former C.A.O. cigar warehouse owned by Nashville’s Ozgener family, OZ Arts, under the artistic leadership of Mark Murphy, brings world-class performances and art installations to the city, and gives ambitious local artists opportunities to work on a grand scale. The flexible 10,000 square-foot, column-free venue, nestled amidst five acres of artfully landscaped grounds, is continually reconfigured to serve artists’ imaginations, and to challenge and inspire a diverse range of curious audiences. 

OZ Arts regularly engages the community for participation with visiting artists and artworks – either directly, through school visits, workshops, master classes, school performances and/or curated programs led by local teaching artists. In addition, OZ Arts founded a program called OZ School Days, a daylong, multi-arts program presented in partnership with Centennial Performing Arts Studios that aims to engage students aged 5 – 15 years old on days when Metro Nashville Public Schools are out of session (ex: Columbus Day, Presidents Day). 

For more information, please visit  

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