Backward People (2020) is an experimental theater performance, conceived and facilitated by visual artist Joshua Kaufman and a team of creative collaborators, including an ensemble of performers. 

Capturing themes from pulp horror, this experimental follow-up to 2019’s Unchilding carefully assembles a world of inner turmoil and dread through a “ceremony of absence,” repressed grief and subtext.

Trading a grand concert hall for an intimate, pared-down rehearsal space, Backward People appeared as a one-night-only performance in February 2020 at Manhattan Theatre Club Studios.

The hour-long sold out performance was set to an ambient soundscape and featured virtually no set, instead utilizing the concept of body as action. Placed in immersive proximity, the audience experienced the performers posed as ephemeral statues occupying an uncanny space between stillness and suspension, displacement and embodiment.