About Us

THE HINTERLANDS is a Detroit-based company creating performances and public events that are highly irrational and deeply American. From our original touring pieces to the events we curate in our Detroit neighborhood, our work is built around pressing into the unknown areas of our personal and collective history with fearless physicality and a sense of humor. Our performances smash seemingly disparate images and ideas together, culminating in new, highly layered meanings that are greater than the sum of their parts. We create a space for our audience to be in this unknown hinterland with us through techniques that disarm and disorient, short-circuiting expectations and luring them into unexpected interactions. We have an ongoing physical training practice that is both a foundation of our collaborative devising process, and a means of conducting exchanges across disciplines and contexts. Formed in 2009 by Richard Newman and Liza Bielby, our work has been seen at the Shanghai Biennale, the Berlinale, Alverno Presents, Flynn Center, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Charlestown Working Theater, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit among others. In addition to our own performance work, The Hinterlands are artists-in-residents and program curators of Play House, a Detroit neighborhood-based performance space that we manage in collaboration with Power House Productions, and also curated and organized The Porous Borders Festival, a two-day festival exploring the municipal and cultural borders along the Hamtramck/Detroit divide.

Liza Bielby – Co-Director, The Hinterlands – works in the space between hyper-local and global cultural expression. She is a fastidious physical performer and a multi-disciplinary translator. She lives for a good laugh and loves great quantities of stuff. Liza is a former Fulbright Scholar, a student of the Sichuan Chuanju Academy (now Sichuan Vocational College of Art), a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, a board member of the Bangla School of Music, and a professor of movement at Wayne State University Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance.

Richard Newman – Co-director, The Hinterlands – was an ensemble member of Double Edge Theatre from 2004-2008 where he co-created numerous performances including Republic of Dreams and the UnPOSSESSED. He was an artist in residence with The Dell’Arte Company (Blue Lake, CA) and founded the Breaking Bread Project – a multi-year collaboration between artists in the U.S. and the Balkans. He has led workshops and trainings at universities and theatres around the world and has performed abroad in China, Spain, Poland, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Canada. Richard also composes electronic music as Registered Nurse.



Anthony Cerrato

Steven Dewater

Brian Moore

Zeb Smith

Haleem “Stringz” Rasul

Jamie VanCamp

Eleni Zaharopoulos

Renee Willoughby

Dave Sanders

Shoshanna Utchenik

Power House Productions

Torri Ashford

Barney Baggett

Jon Brumit