The Headlong Performance Institute has grown into a supported residency for working artists at Headlong studios in South Philadelphia. Artists embark on a 14-week journey of creating individual practice and process for making and developing performance. The program focuses on methods of research for developing performance worlds and languages that are unique to each makers body, mind, and spirit. Individual processes are nurtured so that we can learn from each other’s insights and discoveries, and collaboration is nurtured so that a work can be larger than any one person while containing the multiplicity of the world. HPI convenes “communities of inquiry” around your work every week so that it blossoms over time, leading you from the known to the unknown.


September 4th - December 17th

  • Artists have their own dedicated studio time for exploring and making work together and individually.

  • Each week features a workshop intensive with an amazing artist.

  • Every Monday features a “salon” to show and share work in every stage of development, with invited artists and audiences for conversations and feedback.

  • Artists will share strategies for making a balanced, sustainable life as an artist is in our DNA as described by Headlong Co-Founder Andrew Simonet in his beautiful book, Making Your Life as an Artist.

  • The program culminates in a 2-week production intensive to share your work with the community in the way you want to do it.


Some thoughts about Artistic Practice -

Thinking through Making - the process is the thinking not the result of the thinking. Click here for a discussion of an artistic practice predicated on simply showing up for a duration of time that is predetermined and repeats.

Difference as Resource - how do we put our arms around everyone in the room so that our differences -- identity, experience, training, ability -- are a resource for asking questions and not stopping points in our process?

Audience and Performer are not One and are not Two - It is neither true that the audience and performer are the same things, nor is it true that they are starkly different things.

Reflection as Structure - Testifying and witnessing to oneself and to one another can itself be scaffolding for a project built for and from experience.


  • Finally I have the words to describe the kind of art I want to make, and language to guide my own creative process.
    — Mason Rosenthal, HPI class of 2011
  • Going to HPI is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. I learned there's no one right way to make art, there's no one right way to live a life, there's no one right way, there's just the way that works best for you, that lights you and others up.
    — Annie Wilson, HPI class of 2008
  • If you are questioning the state of theater or dance, redefining the words 'artist' and 'professional,' radicalizing the performance space, or want to expand your capacity to sustain your LIFE as an artist — you must challenge yourself to HPI.
    — Adam Kerbel, HPI class of 2011
  • Where does the influence of HPI training end?! ... They teach wonderful, productive, sharp and supportive ways of giving feedback and looking at work. That may be the most important influence on my life.
    — Chelsea Murphy, HPI class of 2012
  • Headlong proposes a courageously holistic alternative to burnout. They argue you can make a sustainable and livable life for yourself as an artist, and that the ultimate test of your dedication is not your destitution.
    — Magda San Millan, HPI class of 2012