Artist Projects

Elephant Room

Steve Cuiffo , Trey Lyford , Geoffrey Sobelle

Elephant Room is the second in a trilogy of theater pieces that embrace and subvert American popular entertainment. The piece is about illusion, delusion and the role of deception in American culture. Rainpan 43, the absurdist team of Sobelle/Lyford, collaborates for the first time with Cuiffo, an accomplished magician and actor, to create original illusions, dance numbers and magic routines. The show embraces and pokes fun at the sparkling world of stage magic to unearth the latent poetics contained within. By completely entering the form, Elephant Room becomes more than a show “about” magic—it is itself a magic show. Elephant Room is an art project that celebrates what is both “true” and “false” in live performance. Sobelle, Lyford and Cuiffo hope to push “magic” using the expressive possibilities of theater and live performance, and, inversely, to explore what happens when performers fully immerse themselves in a new form. And, of course, they also hope to blow your mind clear out the back of your skull with some rad-ass magic.

Project Updates

  • 2014: Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle perform Elephant Room at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland

  • 2013: Cuiffo, Lyford and Sobelle perform Elephant Room at THE BOX in New York as they continue to develop the show into a tourable production.

  • 2012: Elephant Room receives glowing review in The New York Times

  • 2012: Cuiffo, Lyford and Sobelle present New York premiere of Elephant Room at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn

  • 2012: Cuiffo, Lyford and Sobelle present Elephant Room at Arena Stage in Washington, DC

  • 2011: Cuiffo, Sobelle and Lyford receive NEFA National Theater Pilot Award for the development of Elephant Room

  • 2011: Cuiffo, Lyford and Sobelle present Elephant Room at Philly Live Arts

  • 2011: 2011: Cuiffo, Lyford and Sobelle rehearse Elephant Room in residency at Hunter College in New York

  • 2011: Cuiffo, Lyford and Sobelle develop Elephant Room in a residency with Philadelphia Live Arts

  • 2009: Work in progress performances of Elephant Room are held at the Kirk Douglas Theater

  • 2009: The Initial Development phase of The Elephant Room is completed and workshop performances are held in mid January. Phase two is travelling to Buffalo to compete in character in a magic competition.

  • Artists

    Steve Cuiffo

    Steve Cuiffo is an actor and magician who creates solo shows and works collaboratively with a range of artists. A cofounder of the collaborative Rain…


    Trey Lyford

    Trey Lyford is Co-Artistic Director of the physical theatre company rainpan 43, whose productions include all wear bowlers, Amnesia Curi…


    Geoffrey Sobelle

    Geoff Sobelle is the Co-Artistic Director of rainpan 43. He is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist, where he is a company member of Pig Iron Theatre…


  • Events

    Jul 31 – Aug 25, 2014
    Geoff Sobelle, Trey Lyford and Steve Cuiffo perform their Creative Capital Project "Elephant Room," and Geoff Sobelle presents "The Object Lesson," at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, UK

    Dec 14 – Dec 14, 2013
    Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoffrey Sobelle perform their Creative Capital project "The Elephant Room" at the Fisher Center, Bard College, Hudson, NY

    Nov 02 – Nov 10, 2013
    Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoffrey Sobelle perform their Creative Capital project "Elephant Room" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

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  • Project News

    March 8, 2012
    Project Premiere: Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle's "Elephant Room" at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn

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