About The Artist
I look for subjects that hover on the edge of theater and then I invent theatrical methods that best reinforce these experiences. This has led to the creation of many new experimental theater forms. In my theater productions I have been using various audio systems to alter the audiences adventure, most notably the Walkman which made it possible to create the Audient = an Audient is my name for an audience member who is both performer and spectator as they move alone through a maze as prompted by their audio device (originally a Walkman). Many other approaches have been born from these explorations.
My focus on wedding important stories with experimental theater techniques has also caused me to veer off into publishing. My ECOlogical Calendar, which I illustrated with hundreds of images from our natural, non-human aspects of our world, was distributed throughout the northern hemisphere with the purpose of reconnecting people with the nature on a daily basis.
My “residency” at Coney Island in the early part of my career led me to become interested in illusion-making utilizing glass and mirrors and the uncanny effects created by Pepper’s Ghost.
Come join me at Antenna’s studios to view some of these efforts.
Chris grew up in Los Angeles and then went to Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. There he met and worked with Peter Schumann and Bread & Puppet Theater. He was introduced to papier-mache sculpture and agitprop performance. His first professional job at age 20 was to redesign the Fun House at Coney Island, New York. Celebrated with a front page review in the Village Voice, the Fun House was populated with his papier-mache creatures and special effects. From there he was briefly in Venice, Ca and then onto San Francisco and the Sausalito Waterfront. He was a regular performer and hawker of his masks at the Renaissance Faires. In the early 70’s, he was one of four collaborators of the heralded SNAKE theater in Sausalito. In 1980 he founded Antenna Theater. With Antenna he has written, designed and produced over 40 plays and special events. Antenna has toured in Mexico and performed there at the Guanajuato International Arts Festival at the invitation of Bellas Artes representing the United States. The Theater has also toured, by invitation, to London’s Round House (five months presenting EUPHORIUM), Paris, Rotterdam and five cities in Germany. His work has also been presented in Italy, New York City, the Smithsonian (seven months), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland. Chris is currently creating various presentations around Queen Calafia, from whom the name California was derived and the Heart of San Francisco event — a free public event of a skywriting plane drawing hearts over the Golden Gate and other Bay Area landmarks. Antenna is a non-profit, 501C3, organization located in Marin County, CA.
Acrylic Paint, Digital Art, Prints and Printmaking, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Wood
Studio and home of Chris Hardman and Antenna Theater
Parking usually available on Martens. This is the cross Street. 229 is the first house on the right after a hair-pin curve at the end of Martens.
Exhibitions & Press
Award from Esquire Magazine entitled: America’s New Leadership Class: Men & Women Under 40 Who Are Changing the Nation. the Esquire 1985 Register
“Is Chris Hardman sabotaging the American theater or is he saving it?” Opening Night in Outer Space, by Steve Erickson
Etiquette of the Undercaste Production by Chris Hardman
“Chris Hardman’s Antenna Theater has shown social engagement before, but never yet of this intensity. One emerges from Etiquette of the Undercaste not only moved, but shaken”
THE LONDON TIMES
Attended Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont where he met Bread and Puppet Theater and began work in papier-mache, puppets and agi-prop theater. After a year he re-located to Venice, CA and then to the Sausalito waterfront in 1972.