Imagine this: human birch trees greet your wedding guests with ceremony programs; a bronze William Shakespeare reads a poetic verse during your cocktail hour; and to you and your guest’s delight, golden goddess statues beside the bar pour wine with the bartender. This unforgettable performance art fusion is an experience masterminded by Providence-based entertainment company TEN31 Productions.
The brainchild of Joe Pari and Eric Auger, TEN31 Productions got its start at Rhode Island’s famous art installation Waterfire, with Pari and Auger performing as gargoyles. After being approached by local event professionals, the pair expanded their cast of characters to include hundreds of actors performing in a variety of themes—from an enchanted Midsummer Night’s Dream motif complete with human topiaries and fairies, to a nautical display of patina and bronze pirates and mermaids. At a recent wedding of two lawyers, a Lady Justice statue held court, so to speak, during the couple’s cocktail hour.
This “décortainment,” as Pari calls it, dates back centuries to royal weddings. “When I learned that it had roots in royal weddings, it was quite eye-opening,” says Pari, explaining that living statues often lined the procession route from the abbey where a couple was married to the palace where a reception was held.
With an ever-expanding repertoire, TEN31 is able to curate their hosts’ wildest visions. Says Pari, “we bring any wedding theme to life.”