The current project from Passing Strange director Annie Dorsen puts the public in control of the production. Through a live auction at Joe's Pub last fall (and a correlating auction website), members of the public were able to determine components of Democracy in America and what actions would take place on stage.
For example, an individual could purchase an action (like a stage kiss) or a costume design employed or a prop used within Democracy in America. As part of the auction process, the public has been able to pay to contribute text, jokes, opinions, anecdotes and even sound cues and other design elements.
The production is described by PS 122 as "a continually shifting four-dimensional billboard advertising and animating the desires and dreams of the multitude. As a dynamic, interactive experiment in political performance, Democracy in America is not art about politics or ideology, instead, it is art made in a political way."
Democracy in America will run through April 20. It opens April 3.
Dorsen's collaborators on the project are performers Okwui Okpokwasili, Philippa Kaye and Anthony Torn, video artist Kate Howard, lighting designer Sarah Sidmon, sound designer Bart Fasbender and dramaturg Katherine Profeta. Dorsen's Passing Strange, developed with musicians Stew and Heidi Rodewald, opened to raves on Broadway following an engagement at the Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theater. Dorsen is currently developing Truckstop with string quartet Ethel for BAM's Next Wave Festival in fall 2008.
Tickets, priced $20, are available by visiting www.ps122.org or by calling (212) 352-3101. PS 122 is located in Manhattan at 150 1st Avenue at East 9th Street.