History Overview

The company was founded as Project Synergy at Duke University, where they presented their premiere performances with the 1974 US/USSR Summer Arts Festival and developed a creative process that became the foundation of their work. The company moved to San Francisco in 1978, where they performed under the name Delta Carnival, then back to Durham in 1982, reverting to the name Synergic Theater. From Durham, theprivate lives soloy brought selected productions to New York, before moving permanently to New York in 1987. Along the way, the company garnered considerable critical recognition. 

The Mannings’ original productions were presented at the Herbst Theater, Project Artaud, Julia Morgan Center, and Margaret Jenkins Performance Gallery in San Francisco; Reynolds Theater, Page Auditorium, the Ark, Baldwin Auditorium and Stewart Theater in NC; and Marymount Manhattan Theater, Schimmel Center for the Arts/Pace Downtown Theater, Schaeberle Studio Theater, and the Ohio Theater in NY. 

Suzanne White Manning bio statement (pdf)

David Manning bio statement (pdf)

Excerpts from Suzanne's Zoom memorial

Sadly, Suzanne passed away on May 14, 2022. David’s eulogy plus surrounding collages from her August 2022 Zoom memorial are presented here. Other segments, including her self-written bio statement and the Private Lives quartet, are available on this website. The many heartfelt individual testimonials were not recorded.

The seeds of Suzanne’s longstanding interest in collaborating with other artists were planted with Requirere, her MFA thesis concert at UCLA in 1968, followed by the written thesis a few years later. Although we don’t have any videos from the stunning concert, samplings of Richard Russel’s music, Malcolm McComick’s costume illustrations, and parts of the performance program (pdf) are all incorporated in the opening 4:30 of the memorial video linked above (simply pause to linger on any visual element).

The remarkable written thesis can be read here (pdf).