PUSH Physical Theatre – a performance troupe that has been called “a cross between fine art sculpture and the hit movie ‘The Matrix’” – will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17 in the auditorium of ETSU’s D.P. Culp University Center.

“We chose to bring PUSH to ETSU because we like to program things that relate to our academic offerings,” said Anita DeAngelis, the director of Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. “PUSH is very unique because they cross many of our disciplines. It is theatre, it is dance, and it is storytelling.”

PUSH combines modern technology with physical illusions and dance-infused acrobatics to, quite literally, push the limits of traditional theatre. The group was founded by Darren and Heather Stevenson in Rochester, New York in the year 2000. Most recently, PUSH was one of the 2014 finalists in truTV’s series “Fake Off.”

DeAngelis said students can expect a compelling narrative and conversation surrounding relevant issues from PUSH. The group integrates technology into their performances, using iPads and images to juxtapose the real and virtual worlds between which we live.

“PUSH has been performing together for a while, so their way of developing a narrative is exciting,” DeAngelis said. “They also examine current issues in their work. One piece in their repertoire is about a man going off to war and his experiences there.”

PUSH has been highly praised for their relevance concerning these kinds of issues. DeAngelis said this is another reason PUSH will appeal to ETSU students.

“The work that they do is very phenomenal,” DeAngelis said. “It is high-quality and precise, and it is something different than what we typically see in the performing arts. It is not quite dance or theatre, but a combination of all these elements.”

Tickets for PUSH Physical Theatre at ETSU are $5 for students of all ages with ID, $20 for seniors 60+ and $25 for general admission. For more information about PUSH Physical Theatre or Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, call 423-439-TKTS (8587) or visit www.etsu.edu/martin.