Since 2009, Annie Dorsen has been developing projects which explore the intersection of algorithms and live performance. She coined the term "algorithmic theater" to differentiate her work from multi-media performance, in which digital technologies are used to enhance stage design, or to create alternate spaces of representation. “Algorithmic theatre,” by contrast, implies a more foundational collaboration with computer code. In this talk, Dorsen will trace her development of the concept, and discuss several of her recent works.
Annie Dorsen is a director and writer whose works explore the intersection of algorithms and live performance. Her most recent project, The Slow Room premiered at Performance Space New York in fall of 2018. Her previous work The Great Outdoors, premiered at Noorderzon Festival (Groningen) and has also been presented at Kampnagel Sommerfestival (Hamburg), Crossing the Line (NYC), and Théâtre de la Cité (Paris). Additionally, Yesterday Tomorrow (2015), premiered at the Holland Festival, and has been presented at Berliner Festspiele as part of Maerzmusik, PS122's COIL Festival (NYC), and Festival d'Automne (Paris). Earlier algorithmic theatre projects, A Piece of Work (2013) and Hello Hi There (2010), have both toured extensively in the US and Europe. In 2017 the script of A Piece of Work was published by Ugly Duckling Presse, and she has contributed essays for Theatre Magazine, Etcetera, Frakcija, and The Drama Review (TDR). She is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed. In addition to awards for Passing Strange, Dorsen received 2018 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (Drama and Performance Art), the 2018 Spalding Gray Award, a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant to Artists Award, the 2014 Herb Alpert Award for the Arts in Theater, and a 2008 OBIE Award. She is a Visiting Professor in Theater and Performance Studies at the University of Chicago