I.B.M. Member Profile

The Rook Project

Emerge strong. Dream and ascend.

About Dr. Thomas Virden

When asked about The Rook Project, Dr. Virden often provides this elevator pitch:

“As a performance art, magic has the capability to teach concepts and provide messages in a more meaningful manner than standard methods, such as lecture. Therefore, with The Rook Project, I utilize performance magic to empower those at risk.”

Inspired in part by Dr. Verner’s MagiciansWithout Borders, The Rook Project is the brainchild of Clinical Psychologist and Professor Dr. Tom Virden, who wanted to do similar work on the local level. Performing as “Rook,” Dr. Virden believes that magic as performance art can carry powerful messages. He formed the Rook project in August 2013 with the mission statement:

“The Rook Project provides magic shows free of charge to children and adults throughout the Valley of the Sun in an effort to spread Hope and Empowerment to those who need it most.”

The Rook project organizes magic shows appropriate to the age and developmental level of the audience free of charge to organizations who serve at-risk populations. Dr. Virden and the Rook Project are not available for hire, but only perform for free at these organizations.

The Rook Project shows are generally brief (15-25 minutes) with additional effects occasionally performed after the main show. If you would like to engage the Rook Project for your group, please visit www.rookproject.org . Keep in mind that Dr. Virden maintains his day job as a University Professor, so scheduling may be limited and shows are limited to Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.