Annie Dorsen | Performance Space New York

Hello Hi There

Hello Hi There

Annie Dorsen
Hello Hi There

Language is meaningless, thought is pointless, and we’re all gonna die. Hello, hi there!

New York director Annie Dorsen takes the famous television debate between the philosopher Michel Foucault and linguist and activist Noam Chomsky from the Seventies as inspiration and material for a dialogue between two specially developed chatbots: every evening, these computer programs designed to mimic human conversations perform a new – as it were, improvised – live text.

Hello Hi There is a performance without people – a literal expression of post-humanism, and simultaneously an examination of what it means to be human. The piece goes inside the question of human nature and intelligence, both the organic and the artificial.

Obie award-winning director and writer Annie Dorsen works in a variety of fields, including theatre, film, dance and, as of 2010, digital performance. Most recently, Hello Hi There premiered at the streirischer herbst festival, Graz, and will tour to Oslo, Bergen and Berlin before arriving in New York in January 2011. She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed. Spike Lee has since made a film of her production of the piece, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, subsequently screened at South by Southwest Film Festival and The Tribeca Film Festival, and was released theatrically by IFC in 2010 before being broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances. Also in 2010, she collaborated with choreographer Anne Juren on Magical (ImPulsTanz Festival) and with Ms. Juren and DD Dorviller on Piece Sans Paroles (brut Vienna and Rencontres Choreographiques Internationales Seine-St-Denis, Paris). In 2009 she created two music-theatre pieces, Ask Your Mama, a setting of Langston Hughes’ 1962 poem, composed by Laura Karpman and sung by Jessye Norman and The Roots (Carnegie Hall) and ETHEL’s Truckstop, seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Her pop-political performance project Democracy in America was presented at Performance Space 122 (PS 122) in spring 2008. Her short film, I Miss, originally the centerpiece of Democracy in America, has screened at American Film Institute Festival (AFI Fest), SXSW Film Festival, The New York Film Festival’s “Views From the Avant-Garde” and the Nantucket Film Festival. Her work has been seen at numerous venues in the US, including the Public Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Marfa Theatre (TX), NYStage and Film, Sundance Theatre Lab, Stanford University, Clubbed Thumb and Women’s Project. In addition to numerous awards for Passing Strange, Ms. Dorsen has received several fellowships, notably the Sir John Gielgud Fellowship from the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. She has taught at New York University, Fordham University, and Playwright’s Horizons, and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Co-produced by steirischer herbst festival, Black Box Teater, BIT Teatergarasjen, Hebbel am Ufer and Performance Space 122. Additional touring support provided by Bundesministerium fur Unterricht, Kunst and Kultur (bmukk). Additional production support and residency provided by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer (EMPAC).


Jan 6-21, 2011
Thu, Jan 6 7:30PM / Sun, Jan 9 5PM / Mon, Jan 10 5PM / Tue, Jan 11 10PM / Thu, Jan 13 7:30PM / Fri, Jan 14 10PM
Extended: Wed, Jan 19 & Fri, Jan 21 7:30PM
Thu, Jan 20 & Sat, Jan 22 10PM.

Single Tickets:

$20, $15 (students/seniors)

Help PS122 Go Green by viewing your Hello Hi There program online!

Democracy in America

democracy in america

Annie Dorsen, critically acclaimed co-creator and director of the hit rock musical on Broadway, Passing Strange, continues to break molds with her new performance event Democracy in America.

An episodic and juicy collage made from the cacophonous jumble of ideas, opinions and attitudes floating in the American ether, Democracy in America is a continually shifting 4-dimensional billboard advertising and animating the desires and dreams of the multitude. As a dynamic, interactive experiment in political performance, Democracy in America is not art about politics or ideology – instead, it is art made in a political way.

As a performance experiment, Democracy in America is continually evolving. During phase 1, the consumers were the creators. Through an online store that was open from November 26 through February 29, the public was invited to imagine and purchase the entire show – part and parcel – including the content. Any and all elements of what would be seen and experienced on stage were for sale. Shoppers submitted text, personal anecdotes, stories and jokes, physical or non-verbal actions, themes and concepts, and all elements of the design. One might’ve chosen to see a particular image or gesture, or performed a kiss, a dance, a cartwheel. Another may have chosen to buy a costume, a sound cue or a prop.

Now the shopping is over and Ms. Dorsen, together with her creative team, is tying it all together into a live art event that is sure to surprise.

Democracy in America
will be performed by three of NYC’s most celebrated downtown artists, Okwui Okpokwasili, Philippa Kaye and Anthony Torn. The creative team includes video artist Kate Howard, lighting designer Sarah Sidmon, sound designer Bart Fasbender, and dramaturg Katherine Profeta.

Do you get what you paid for? Yes, you do. This wild ride will indeed include ancient Roman texts, a fan dance to Ride of the Valkyries, a tapioca explosion, and – O.K. people, who ordered the rim job?

Check out Behind the scenes at Democracy in America
Democracy in America is a co-presentation of Performance Space 122 and The Foundry Theatre

More about Annie Dorsen
Annie Dorsen is a director, writer and dramaturg. Dorsen is director and co-creator of the Broadway hit Passing Strange; a piece she developed with musicians Stew and Heidi Rodewald, which opened at the Belasco Theater in February 2008 to rave reviews. Passing Strange has previously been seen at The Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theater. She is currently developing Truckstop with string quartet Ethel for BAM’s Next Wave Festival in Fall 08.

Dorsen is the recipient of several awards and fellowships, notably the Audelco Award for her direction of Passing Strange, the Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classical Directors from SSDC, and both the Boris Sagal and Bill Foeller Fellowships from the Williamstown Theater Festival. She is a founding member of PAF (PerformingArtsForum), an artist-run research and residency space in St. Erme, France.

Photos by Yi Zhao

Sunday, March 30 – Sunday, April 20, 2008
Tickets from $20

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