Trey Lyford is a New York-based theatre artist and Co-Artistic Director of rainpan 43 performance group. He has co-created and performed in all of their works to date. Following a world tour of r43’s inaugural work all wear bowlers (2005 Drama Desk Nomination, Innovative Theatre Award), r43 has continued to concoct absurd theatrical ruminations including: Amnesia Curiosa (2006), the OBIE award-winning kinetic junk sculpture play machines, machines, machines, machines, machines, machines machines and most recently Elephant Room.   In addition to his pieces with rainpan 43, Mr. Lyford develops and produces works as an individual artist and is an Associate Artist with the celebrated company The Civilians (Gone Missing, Paris Commune, Nobody’s Lunch, The Great Immensity). Mr. Lyford has performed his original works in four continents as well as Philadelphia Live Arts / FringeArts, LA's Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, Studio Theater, and theaters throughout NYC. Trey is a Princess Grace Award and Fabergé Theatre Excellence Award recipient and his work has received support from NYSCA, Princeton Atelier, Creative Capital and NEFA. He has taught numerous workshops both domestically and abroad and is a professor at the SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory.  His is also a guest teacher at the Pig Iron School and NY’s Movement Theatre Studio.  He lives in Brooklyn with his beautiful wife and their daughter. BA: Vassar, MFA: UCSD 


Created and performed by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Steve Cuiffo. Directed by Paul Lazar
ELEPHANT ROOM is an absurd performance-art piece that takes the form of an evening-length magic show to embrace and expose the currency of deception in contemporary American culture. In true Rainpan 43 fashion, this is an actor-driven show that is both hilarious and though-provoking, ridiculous and poetic, shameless and sincere. In that order.

ELEPHANT ROOM combines the contemporary clowning of Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford with the advanced magic skills of illusionist/actor Steve Cuiffo. It is an evening of phenomenal spectacle and wonder, dance numbers and then more dance numbers.

At the heart of the show are three world-class jackasses: Dennis Diamond, Louie Magic and Darryl Hannah. While the magic functions and will fool the audience, the magicians begin to fall apart. The more the characters posture, front and hide behind their “smoke/mirrors,” the more they reveal their vulnerability.

Click here to listen to a podcast about the piece on HowlRound.

“delightfully daft…their lovable-loser shtick as well as their nifty skills help turn ELEPHANT ROOM into one of the coolest places in town.” – The New York Times

..a beautiful meeting of the theatricality of magic, physical theater and comedy…a great demonstration of what you get with fearless commitment.” – Wall Street Journal

“Enchantingly goofy.” – Village Voice

A pastiche of prestidigatory delights and vaudevillian antics.” – Culturebot

…walks that well neigh perforated line between humorous and disturbing that marks all good magicians.” – Staged

Created and performed by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Gabriel Quinn Bauriedel, directed by Aleksandra Wolska and Charlotte Ford
In a unique blend of clowning and engineering, MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES MACHINES reveals the claustrophobic bunker of three paranoid brothers so fixated on protecting themselves from the outside world that they themselves become the objects of suspicion.

In an attempt to simplify their lives, they bury themselves in a cacophonous landslide of ingenious – if poorly made – machines. At the heart of the play are the ridiculously complex machines, based on cartoonist Rube Goldberg’s vision of technology and the equation: the most amount of effort to achieve the least amount of gain.

“The show’s loopy ethos is founded on a celebration of pointlessness, and for most of the running time it is a ticklish pleasure simply to watch these men bicker and pose and play, like kids in a junk-filled garage who’ve consumed too much sugar and haven’t yet discovered the more enervating pleasures of video games.” – The New York Times

Created and performed by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle, co-created and directed by Andrew Dawson

“I keep inside myself, in my private museum, everything I have seen and loved in my life.” – Andre Malraux

We, amnesiacs all, condemned to live in an eternally fleeting present, have created the most elaborate of human constructions, memory, to buffer ourselves against the intolerable knowledge of the irreversible passage of time…” – Geoffrey Sonnabend

In this contemporary cabinet of curiosities Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyfordunearth a museum of absence and artifact where the paranormal is normal and the line between docent and exhibit becomes increasingly blurred. Drawing from the esoteric worlds of pseudo-science, medical anomaly, and spiritualism, AMNESIA CURIOSA is a surgical séance, exhuming a repository of familial ghosts, memory and wonder.

AMNESIA CURIOSA was originally performed at the historic Pennsylvania Hospital in the oldest surgical amphitheatre in the U.S. The show is a collaboration with award-winning physical theatre artist Andrew Dawson (UK).

Created and performed by Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle, directed by Aleksandra Wolska
ALL WEAR BOWLERS draws from the world of 1930s-era physical comedy to tell the story of two silent film stars who fall off of the screen to find themselves trapped in a clown show. Without a thought in their heads, the duo persists in trying to make sense of their situation, only to succeed in deepening their disorientation until they lose all sense of time, place and self. ALL WEAR BOWLERS is a two-man absurdist play that combines physical comedy routines with visual metaphor, stage magic, filmed images and vaudevillian patter in an exploration of identity and memory, nostalgia and amnesia. The pathos of Laurel and Hardy, the desolate humor of Samuel Beckett, and the quiet poetry of René Magritte collide to create a surreal world of venomous ventriloquists and belligerent bowlers.

“Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the kind of daring and ingenuity in ALL WEAR BOWLERS in the commercial theater. It’s one more reason to feel foolish about spending money on a Broadway show.” – The New York Times

“The breadth of creative vocabulary and command of craft showcased in All Wear Bowlers are impressive in themselves. But it’s the anarchic yet deftly calibrated clowning of Sobelle and Lyford that makes ALL WEAR BOWLERS such a terrific entertainment.” – Jersey Courier Post