WADE McCOLLUM + SARAH SMALL
Wade McCollum and Sarah Small’s creative confluence emerged in 2017 during HERE Arts Center’s PROTOTYPE Festival wherein they co-directed a staged work of Small’s musical album, Secondary Dominance. Since then, Small & McCollum have developed this work into a series of dance-centric music videos, followed by a long-form music video; into what has since found its landing place as a feature film. Currently, they are co-visioning a path for an episodic TV show written by McCollum.
Coming from substantively different artistic backgrounds, Small from the Fine Arts and McCollum from Broadway, their creative disciplines overlap and range from writing, directing, and performing; to composing and singing; to editing and directing photography.
What brings Small & McCollum together is the mutual thrill they share while unearthing symbolic and poetic potentialities in search of adventurous storytelling opportunities; the natural momentum generated while disassembling and reassembling elements — the way scientists may do with molecules. They have fun imagining this as the Science of Curiosity and thus have branded their forthcoming directorial and producorial company Curiostronomy Pictures.
Composer and singer on Yo-Yo Ma's GRAMMY-winning "Best World Music Album” (2016) and protagonist in Josephine Decker’s Butter on the Latch (The New Yorker’s “10 Best Movies of 2014"), Small is a multidisciplinary artist, composer, performer, photographer, and filmmaker.
Born in 1979 in Washington D.C. into a family of writers, psychoanalysts, a lutenist / composer mother, and pianist / composer father, Small spent her childhood playing cello, concocting gibberish languages, dancing, and performing in musicals written by her mother. She became enraptured by photography when she was 13 yo, and in 2001 graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BA in photography. She moved to Brooklyn the day before September 11th.
In 2006, Small co-founded Balkan vocal trio, Black Sea Hotel, described by NPR as an ensemble that “hits with the magnetic pull of rock-bound sirens”. In 2011, noted by The New York Times as “seem(ing) like a miracle”, Small curated an 120-participant Tableau Vivant (“living picture”) of her photographic series, The Delirium Constructions, which has been exhibited on six continents. In 2017, Small was commissioned by PROTOTYPE Festival to premiere a staged work of Secondary Dominance which interwove electronic, Balkan folk, industrial, pop, punk, rap, rock, and classical music. Small’s work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, NPR, WNYC, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Life Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.
Since 2020’s lockdown, Small has co-written, co-directed, and edited feature film Secondary Dominance, and composed and recorded two chamber works and an LP. Content is pending release in 2023. Small lives in a pink + white home in Brooklyn with her two kitties, Bunny and January. Over the last few years, Small has taken solace in cooking and ballroom dance. She’s currently head over heals for Tango, Rumba, Foxtrot, and Waltz.
Noted by the LA Times as “a force of nature… spontaneous, complex, and dangerous”, Wade McCollum is a Broadway and TV actor, filmmaker, singer, composer, writer, director, and co-founder of two Cornell-backed neuroscience tech companies. Concurrently, he is obtaining a cognitive neuroscience degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Be it in theater, on screen, in boardrooms, classrooms, or laboratories, McCollum’s life breath is one wherein art and science intersect.
A Queer Cisgender man of mixed-European and Indigenous North American ancestry, McCollum was born into a nomadic family, where rock + roll was their sustenance, and a sparkly green 1978 Dodge van their home. The experience of daily environmental changes while journeying town-to-town primed McCollum for a life of continuous reorientation and creative exploration.
McCollum has played starring roles on Broadway, London’s West End, and in numerous Off-Broadway shows, most notably his "Lortel Award" Nominated performance as Ernest Shackleton in "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me" for which he garnered the Norton Award for “Best Actor”. Other notable performances have earned him a "Garland Award", "Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Award", two "Drammys", and a "Dallas Fort Worth Critic’s Circle Award".
On screen, McCollum has appeared opposite Clive Owen (The Knick), Keisha Castle-Hughs (FBI: Most Wanted), Tea Leoni (Madame Secratary), Tom Payne (Prodigal Son), and Juliann Margulies (Nightcap). In 2003, McCollum co-founded and was Artistic Director of Oregon’s Insight Out Theatre Collective, whose company focus was to create space for marginalized voices. For five seasons, he produced, directed, and performed, fostering multiple world premieres for untold stories. As a composer and writer, McCollum’s work has been produced nationwide on stages including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Alchemy L.A, 59e59th Street, Sonnet Repertory Theatre, and Classic Stage Company.