Annie Dorsen (USA)

A microphone, a screen, the text running in overlay, two minutes to perform in front of the audience. Singers? No, in their place are other great artists who have gone down in history for their passion, their eloquence, their words.

Spokaoke is a participatory event that invites the audience to declaim speeches just as they would sing songs in a karaoke bar. Fifty speech-videos loaded into a karaoke device and available in a catalog that viewers can browse through: political speeches, public speeches, theatrical monologues, eulogies, trial testimony, etc. Some are familiar to the point of being considered icons (“I have a dream,” “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”); others are less well known; some are part of our history, others part of the collective imagination.

Reciting these old speeches means recognizing them for what they are: fragments of history and folk art. Here is an opportunity to pay homage to some of the greatest hit makers of all time and thus resurrect triumphs and traumas from our distant and near past.

If karaoke offers us the opportunity to recognize a shared ownership of pop music heritage, Spokaoke allows us to play with a legacy of spoken artifacts by constructing a Top10 of collective discourse.



Participatory performance – in Italian
A project by ZONA K with Stanze


Conception: Annie Dorsen Sound design: Vladimir Kudryatsev and Uli Ertl Assistance: Lola Harney Management: Natasha Katerinopoulos Co-production steirischer herbst (Graz) Black Box Teater (Oslo)


Annie Dorsen is a New York-based filmmaker and writer whose works explore the intersection of algorithms and live performance. Her most recent project, The Slow Room, premiered at Performance Space in New York City in Fall 2018. Previous projects, including The great outdoors (2017), Yesterday Tomorrow (2015), A piece of work (2013), and Hello hi there (2010), have been widely performed in the United States and other countries. She contributes to and writes for The Drama Review, Theatre Magazine, Etcetera, Frakcija, and Performing Arts Journal (PAJ).