Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals I, II & III

Redmond, WA

In 2012, Neare started as artist-in-residence for the emerging city of Redmond, Washington. Using theatre as both a medium to reimagine the social compact and as a placemaking strategy, Neare created Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals, which transformed a grassy patch that formerly held a strip mall and used-auto-parts store into a surreal country pie picnic.

This Wonder reclaimed the site as civic space, marking it as the future home of Redmond’s forthcoming gathering place, Downtown Park. Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals created an ephemeral commons in which Redmond’s residents could meet and celebrate. The work animated the city’s best aspirations, fostering unlikely social bonds—and a renewed sense of place—based on once-in-a-lifetime shared experiences in the heart of this burgeoning city.

Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals was the beginning of Neare’s long-term collaboration with the City of Redmond. Neare worked with the city at every stage of this park’s development, from activating the site with Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals during pre-construction in 2012, to serving on the Downtown Park Planning Advisory Committee from 2013 to 2016, to creating a new work for the park’s official opening in 2018. Neare’s work in Redmond became a six-year engagement project with the city, forging a new model for ways artists can engage long term with cities.

Professor Pomme’s Pomp and Pastry Paradoxicals was commissioned by the City of Redmond, with support from 4Culture’s Site-Specific Performance Network.

Thank you for bringing magic back to Redmond.



Creative Collaborators: Lucia Neare, Matt Goodrich, Jan Wallace, Guy Caridi, Mark Haim, Jessica Jobaris, Karen Lewis, Candace Frank, Ned Beatty, David Verkade, Sarah Hartley, Suzanne Giradot, Toby Hanson, Diane Magasich

Performers: Matt Aguayo, Justice Beitzel, Robin Campbell, Guy Caridi, Jordan Colvard. Lynne Compton, Esme DeCoster, Tova Eisner, Winfield Hobbs, Kristianne Huntsburger, Lorraine Lau, Christl Marcontell, Casey Matteson, Kari Morehouse, Ilsa Olsen, Kathryn Padberg, Jenny Peterson, Naomi Russell, Jean Sherrard, Parlin Shields, Hendri Waljulo, Marilyn Young, Kaitlin Ziehr

Musicians: Matt Goodrich, Brandon Vance, Lucia Neare, Parlin Shields, Dave Bartley, Dennis Staskowski, Holly Eckert, Suzanne Giradot, Armin Barnett, Jerry Gallaher, Molly Tenenbaum

I was enthralled, especially by the joy on people’s faces as they enjoyed your performance.