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Events Spokaoke


Annie Dorsen

Co-presented with Bryn Mawr College's Performing Arts Series as part of the Algorithmic Theater Retrospective

Friday, September 16 at 10pm

2022 Fringe Festival

90 min


La Peg at FringeArtsMap

Wheelchair Accessible

Pick your soapbox! We’re bringing unrehearsed, amateur speech-making to a bar near you. Politics, philosophy, pop culture which speech will you choose? 

Spokaoke invites the audience to perform speeches as they would ordinarily perform songs in a karaoke bar. Created by writer and director Annie Dorsen (2019 MacArthur Fellow, 2018 Guggenheim Fellow, Infinite Sun, The Great Outdoors, Yesterday Tomorrow), 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. 

“Creative energy sparking through the space”
New York Theatre Review

Health & Safety

Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event. Masks are optional. For the safety of audiences, artists, staff, and our greater community, you must be fully vaccinated to attend this event. You will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue. Accepted forms for proof of vaccination include a physical vaccine card with your name on it or a digital proof of vaccination Please plan accordingly.


$15 general
$2 FringeACCESS

Tickets go on sale to FringeArts Members on Friday, August 5, and to the general public on Monday, August 8.

Not a member? Join now! FringeArts Members also receive 20% off tickets and additional perks!

Related Events

To see more of Annie Dorsen’s work, join Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series from September 9-17 for Algorithmic Theater, Dorsen’s first ever career retrospective. Algorithmic Theater brings Dorsen’s work to Philadelphia audiences for the first time and features four of her past projects, including Hello Hi There (2010), Spokaoke (2012), A Piece of Work (2013), and Yesterday Tomorrow (2015). Together, these works tell a story about advancing technology, encroaching artificial intelligence, and post-anthropocentric art-making that attempt to reckon with the last decade of history.

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