Algorithmic Theater: Yesterday Tomorrow

By Bryn Mawr College (other events)

3 Dates Through Sep 17, 2022

With post-performance reception on 9/15 and Q&A on 9/17!


“Haunting and strangely beautiful”
— The New York Times

A new kind of musical, Yesterday Tomorrow (2015) is a collaboration between human artists and evolutionary algorithms. In this work, a chorus of live singers are fed a real-time algorithmically-generated score to create an environmental concert of song, machines, gestures, light and space. 

Beginning with the Beatles' “Yesterday,” algorithms slowly transform that song into “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. Three singers receive the computer-generated music and lyrics both aurally and visually, and follow a movement score, also produced algorithmically, that moves them from a starting to an ending position. Each night, the spatial and musical path from the past to the future is different; neither the singers, the creative team, nor the audience knows where we will end up.

The singers onstage and the computer-generated melodies and lyrics blend to create a disorienting series of alternations: between human and machine, between sound and sense, between the recognizable and the utterly unfamiliar. Finally and eventually, it's a piece about the passage of time, about progress and regress, about the loss of one world and the optimistic creation of another.


Yesterday Tomorrow excerpt


Concept/Direction: Annie Dorsen
Music Director: Joanna Bailie
Computer Programming: Pierre Godard
Sound Design: Greg Beller
Additional Sound Design: Ian Douglas-Moore
Video Systems Design: Ryan Holsopple
Lighting Design: Bruno Pocheron and Ruth Waldeyer
Technical Direction: Ruth Waldeyer
Management / Production: Natasha Katerinopoulos
Performers: Hai-Ting Chinn, Emily Eagen, and Jeffrey Gavett 


Yesterday Tomorrow is a co-production of Holland Festival; Black Box Teater (Oslo); Performance Space 122 (New York); La Villette – Résidences d’Artistes 2015; TANDEM – Scène nationale Arras Douai; Théâtre de Gennevilliers with Festival d’Automne à Paris; Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne; and Théâtre Garonne, Scène européenne, Toulouse. Made possible, in part, by The MAP Fund, with the assistance of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support provided through fiscal sponsorship and a residency at Mount Tremper Arts; and a residency at Abrons Arts Center.

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