Event Archives

Annie Dorsen: Yesterday Tomorrow (POSTPONED)

Regrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, this performance must be postponed. We anticipate announcing a new date for Yesterday Tomorrow in the coming months.


Humans are haunted by the question: Can robots do our jobs as well as we can? Even more daunting: Can an algorithm create art as adeptly as a human? Theater pioneer Annie Dorsen is among the first to explore the question onstage, creating the unprecedented medium of “algorithmic theater.” For Dorsen, the stage is less a venue than a laboratory: a place to pose and test hypotheses. In Yesterday Tomorrow, an algorithm deconstructs the classic Beatles song “Yesterday” and reconstructs it as “Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical Annie. While the algorithm produces the new score, three singers perform the results live. The algorithm has its own capacity for improvisation — or does it just seem to? Does its output amount to creativity, or even consciousness? Dorsen is an Obie Award winner and MacArthur Fellow who blends math and performance to create a unique “Dorsen universe — wonderfully rational yet magical at the same time” (BOMB Magazine).


Current Duke Performances COVID-19 regulations

  • $35General
  • $10Duke Students
  • Fri, Feb 11, 2022 at 8:00pm
  • Sat, Feb 12, 2022 at 8:00pm
von der Heyden Studio Theater