How did you come up with the idea for Fear Experiment (FE)?

Check out the History section for a look at the birth of FE.

What are all these acronyms?

  • FE = Fear Experiment
  • DE = Dance Experiment
  • IE = Improv Experiment
  • SE = Stepping Experiment
  • AE = A Capella Experiment
  • FE’r = Fear Experiment participant

If there’s a number after an acronym, that’s the round of the program, e.g. DE1 = Dance Experiment One, the first round of DE

When and where do participants rehearse?

  • Sundays, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. // Thursdays, 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
  • Depending on the group you’re in, Roscoe Village or Wicker Park

Who are the participants?

Dance Experiment One (DE1) dancers were all friends of Saya’s. Now, FE’rs are friends, friends of friends, and strangers.

What do you look for in a participant?

  • Adventuresome spirit
  • “Bad” at the specific skill
  • Nervousness and/or fear
  • Positive, team-oriented, go-with-the-flow attitude
  • Don’t know most of the other participants
  • Dependable, answers communication in a timely fashion, and adheres to deadlines
  • Willing to market the experience and the show to friends and contacts
  • Willing to be videotaped and photographed throughout

What do you look for in a teacher?

Same answers as for in a participant (except for being bad at the skill!), plus:

  •  Skilled in the art form
  • Able to work with a range of skill levels
  • Patience
  • No set curriculum; fresh new ideas rather than relying on what they’ve already taught

Do participants stay in touch after the show?

Yes! When the show is over, the relationships are just beginning.

Aside from friendships, what other kinds of relationships happen among FE’rs?

  • Volunteers (e.g., Habitat for Humanity leader and team member, soup kitchen servers)
  • Neighbors
  • Teammates (e.g., kickball & softball)
  • Teachers and students (e.g., glass-blowing class)
  • Business owners and clients (e.g., realtor and home buyer, graphic designer and small-business owner)
  • Roommates
  • Pet adopters
  • House sitters
  • Board members
  • Marathon training partners
  • Church buddies
  • Teachers (e.g., teaching dance to seven-year-olds)
  • Business partners/mentors (e.g., baker and chef)
  • Networkers
  • Home decorators (e.g., giving appliances to a recently moved person)
  • Actors

When does FE happen?

Dance + Improv

  • Info Sessions/application: September–November
  • Rehearsals: January–March/April
  • Show: March/April

A Capella + Stepping

  • Info Sessions/application: May–June
  • Rehearsals: September–December
  • Show: December

I’m interested in being an FE participant. What do I do?

Apply or if applications are closed, sign up for the Mac ’n Cheese Productions email list.

I’m interested in being an FE teacher. What do I do?

Fill this out. We don’t currently have any open positions, but if something opens up, we’ll be in touch!

What is stepping?

It’s a mix of foot movements, handclaps and voice chants, historically performed by African-American Greek letter organizations but now shared by many multicultural fraternities and sororities. See an example.

Who are the kids in the FE shows?

Every FE has a “Do Good” component, where we partner with an underserved community, such as an elementary school in a high-poverty neighborhood. We’ve also worked with organizations like Inspiration Corporation, which serves people who are homeless and unemployed.

How can I sponsor FE?

It takes a village to put on Fear Experiment! We pay for the venue through ticket sales, but for everything else we rely on sponsors. We’d love your help. Learn more in the Sponsor section here.