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The Foundry Theatre
140-142 2nd Ave, Suite 405
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777 - 1444

Democracy in America


PS122, New York City

Created by

Directed by

Annie Dorsen, critically acclaimed co-creator and director of the hit rock musical on Broadway, Passing Strange, continues to break molds with her new performance event, Democracy in America, for which the creators are the consumers. The entire show — content, design and staging — was proposed and purchased in advance by the public through an online store at  People bought songs to be played, light and sound cues, a kiss, a painting, advertisements, video clips, a fan dance to Ride of the Valkiries, a Bollywood musical number, and a recurring dream to be told to a group of avid listeners.  Once the sale closed and the shopping was over, Dorsen tied all the purchases together into a pop-political performance extravaganza that is sure to surprise — on many levels.  Do you get what you paid for?  Yes.

Connected Ideas

Conceived and Directed by
Annie Dorsen
Featured Collaborators/Performers:
Philippa Kaye
Okwui Okpokwasili
Tony Torn
Video Design
Kate Howard
Lighting Design
Sarah Sidmon
Sound Design
Bart Fasbender
Katherine Profeta
Stage Manager
Erin Koster

Annie Dorsen… returns power to the people in a more all-American way: she lets us buy it. A cunning satire of contemporary politics that transforms selling out into performance art.”
The NY Times

4 Stars from TimeOut NY: Postmodern vaudeville… [Okwui] Okpokwasili proves that she can read a Staples catalog and still be interesting.


“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.”

– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA began as an investigation into Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic political treatise of the same title. An implicit question informs all of Tocqueville’s observations about America: can a nation achieve greatness on the basis of individuals’ self-interested and autonomous actions? This, too, is the implicit question behind our project. What kind of art might be constructed from the contributions of a multitude of persons acting separately?