Explore a one-of-a-kind immersive experience with thousands of reactive lights and hundreds of speakers creating an interactive theatrical cosmos.

Every point in space occurs once at each moment of time.

N O W I S W H E N W E A R E (the stars) makes that literal. Moving beyond an immersive gallery experience, (the stars) unseen narrator guides each visitor through their own individual journey of this precisely programmed installation – and the cosmos of themselves.

The experience uses nearly 5,000 individually reactive points of light and a 496-channel sound system to envelop each audience member. (the stars) invites viewers to become active explorers – as they discover the traces of themselves in light, the universe, and those who have been here before us. The experience is variable and may last up to an hour.

This is a non-seated, interactive environment. Audience members are free to move around the space when prompted. There are two ways to experience (the stars):

Open Universe

A self-guided experience through an open installation. You’ll have an entry time, and can explore the space at your own pace.

Guided Experience

A unique 45-minute experience for up to 8 people at a time that invites each guest to consider their individual place in the universe.

Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Sensory note: There will be prolonged periods of absolute darkness and occasional loud noises and flashing lights.

Watch the Trailer:

NYU Abu Dhabi currently chairs the Universities Climate Network, which comprises UAE-based universities and higher education institutions to facilitate dialogues, workshops, public events, policy briefs, and youth participation in the lead up to and beyond COP28. Presented in support of COP28.

Presented as part of the lead-up to COP28


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider is mostly interested in how humans telling stories about ourselves to each other can make us better at being humans. And how much the second law of thermodynamics and grief have in common.

He is an OBIE award-winning, Drama Desk nominated performer, writer, and interactive-electronics artist creating original works for theater, dance, sound, video, and installation since 2003.

“We live in an increasingly synthetic world of our own making. In the name of more and faster connection, we are animals that have separated ourselves from the actual world around us. The work I make is highly technical, but It is not about the technology. I am more interested in the application of the technology and how it can bring us closer together, shake us from the synthetic, and offer a genuine experience to every audience member’s consciousness, rather than just watching something “over there”. I am interested in how creating meaningful time-based experiences can lead to more meaningful human-to-human interaction. If theater at its core is humans telling stories about ourselves to each other, then I hope it is in the service of getting better at being human. This is why I make the work that I make. This is also how I try to make the work that I make – with value-aligned recurring collaborators who are interested not just in the work of making experience, but in a vigorous interrogation of what power structures exist in the rooms in which we make and how to systemically try to make change in inequitable systems.”

Right before the pandemic Andrew premiered the choreographic work »remains« commissioned by the Sasha Waltz & Guests company at Radialsystem in Berlin, Germany.

Over the past two years, he has focused on demonstrating in the streets, organizing for social justice, facilitating a group to look at systemic oppression and privilege with other white men, and creating the technical infrastructure for a time-based, narrative, immersive, light and sound installation dealing with grief, loss, and presentness.

Original performance work in NYC includes NERVOUS/SYSTEM (2018 – BAM Next Wave); AFTER (2018 – Under the Radar, The Public Theater); YOUARENOWHERE (2015 OBIE award, 2016 Drama Desk nom); DANCE/FIELD (2014 – Roulette); TIDAL (2013 – River to River); and WOW+FLUTTER (2010 – The Chocolate Factory Theater), among others.

Andrew has been a recurring collaborator with The TEAM, Lars Jan / Early Morning Opera, Annie Saunders, David Dorfman Dance, Hotel Savant, and Fischerspooner. His off-broadway designs include Dolphins and Sharks at the Labyrinth Theater; Small Mouth Sounds at Ars Nova and the Signature Theater; and Roosevelvis at the Vineyard Theater. Schneider has taught master classes on Technology and Performance at Bowdoin, Carleton, and Connecticut College. He was a 2019 Professor of the Practice and Visiting Fellow in Theater Arts and Performance Studies through the Brown Arts Initiative at Brown University. Andrew holds a BFA in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Masters Degree in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU.

Andrew is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (2020), was a Sundance “Art of the Practice” fellow (2021), and has received a fellowship from the Junge Akademie / Akademie Der Künste in Berlin (2022). He teaches a recurring class on original-flavor reality at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU where he is currently a postdoctoral fellow.

Bobby McElver
Bobby McElver is a sound designer for theatre and dance. A former company member of The Wooster Group, he has toured internationally for over a decade and presented works in many major cities. Other collaborators include Andrew Schneider, Moisés Kaufman, Faye Driscoll, zoe | juniper, New York City Players, Tina Satter / Half Straddle, Kaki King, Frances McDormand, Palissimo, James Allister Sprang. As an artist-engineer, McElver’s research focuses on developing new spatial audio technology — specifically Wave Field Synthesis and “sound holograms” — and applying the technology in context of an artistic work. Nominated for a 2015 BESSIE for The Wooster Group’s Early Shaker Spirituals. He is an Associate Professor at University of California San Diego where he runs the MFA program in Sound Design for Theatre & Dance. www.bobbymcelver.com