Algorithmic Theater: Spokaoke

By Bryn Mawr College (other events)

Saturday, September 10 2022 10:00 PM 11:30 PM EST

FREE! No advance reservation required.

With food provided by Algorithm Food Truck! And special guest emcee Martha Graham Cracker!


"Creative energy sparking through the space”
— New York Theatre Review

Spokaoke (2012) invites the audience to perform speeches as they would ordinarily perform songs in a karaoke bar. This participatory event plays with the legacy of spoken artifacts, treating snippets and snatches of public address like a Top 40 radio of collective discourse.

Over a hundred texts are available on the karaoke system and arranged in a catalog that audience members can peruse. Some texts are familiar to the point of iconic status (“I have a dream,” “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”), while others are lesser-known. Texts come from a wide variety of sources and eras — Socrates’ trial speech, Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman,” Colonel Qaddafi at the United Nations. All texts are in English. 

Hearing the speeches in relation to each other reveals new connections between them, as distinct moments of socio-historical urgency collide in unpredictable and unexpected ways. Politics, philosophy, pop culture — which speech will you choose? 


Creation: Annie Dorsen
Sound design: Vladimir Kudryatsev and Uli Ertl
Assistance: Lola Harney
Management: Natasha Katerinopoulos


Spokaoke is a co-production of steirischer herbst (Graz, AT) and Black Box Teater (Oslo, NO).