The Object Lesson

Imagine an archaeological dig: the site is the present moment.  The artifacts: an ever-growing heap of every “thing” that has ever passed through your hands - a massive, meaningful, meaningless pile of junk that describes in debris your tiny human history.

The Object Lesson is a tactile performance-installation for a mobile audience, a solo artist and tons and tons of stuff.  With boxes stacked to the ceiling, Sobelle transforms the theater into an epic storage facility of gargantuan proportion in this immersive theatrical experience that unpacks our relationship to our everyday objects. Breaking, buying, finding, fixing, giving, losing, winning, trading, selling, stealing, storing, collecting, cluttering, clearing, packing up, passing on, buried under... a world of things.

The Object Lesson is a meditation on the stuff we cling to and the crap we leave behind.

Development for The Object Lesson was supported by The Map Fund, The Wyncote Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, an Independence Foundation Fellowship, the Philadelphia Live Arts Brewery (LAB) program and a commission from Lincoln Center Theater.  Further development was supported by residencies at The Orchard Project, the Space on Ryder Farm and at The Yard, a multi-disciplinary dance space in Martha’s Vineyard.

Production History:
Philadelphia FringeArts Festival - 2013
Summerhall (Edinburgh Fringe) - 2014
BAM (NYC) - 2014
Harbourfront Centre Worldstage (Toronto) - 2015
Kirk Douglas Theatre (CTG-LA) - 2015
Curran Theatre (SF) - 2015
Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbs, OH) - 2015
Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis, Minn) - 2015
Bard College (Hudson, NY) - 2015
Sydney Festival (Sydney, Australia) - 2016
Perth Festival (Perth, Australia) - 2016
Studio Theatre (Washington, DC) - 2016
New York Theatre Workshop (New York, NY) - 2017

Go to the show. And I mean, right away, this minute, get off the Internet and bustle over to BAM before you read any further of its giddy won’t be prepared for how beautiful it is.
Time Out New York
...ruefully, comically sentimental piece that plucks a fleeting connective poetry in the seeming randomness of what we hoard.
— The New York Times
Breathtaking... The Object Lesson is one of a kind.
— The Times (UK)
A work of wonderful absurdism, technical genius and, ultimately, breathtaking illusionism, The Object Lesson is a brilliantly original, absolutely unmissable piece of Fringe theatre.
— The List


Created and performed by Geoff Sobelle
Directed by David Neumann
Installation / Set: Steven Dufala
Sound: Nick Kourtides
Lights: Chris Kuhl
Production Stage Manager: Lisa McGinn
Producer: Jecca Barry


Time Out New York
The Guardian


Total Theatre Award, (Physical/Visual) Edinburgh 2014
The Scotsman, Fringe First Award Edinburgh 2014
Carol Tambor, Best of Edinburgh 2014
Dora Award Nomination, 2015
Bessie Award, 2015


Aurora Nova