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In Performance

In Performance: Score for a Lecture (COIL)

The Bureau for the Future of Choreography/Score for a Lecture
Image by Evelyne Donnelly

To attend the world premiere work Score for a Lecture is to become part of a collective experiment in performance, communication and failure. One part telephone, one part hide and seek, this collaborative piece invites its audience to become a member of The Bureau for the Future of Choreography, “an apparatus, striving for collective authorship, that produces choreographies and documents.” Bureau members propose a time-based score in which all attendees take part. From there, participants become a cog in a performance-creation machine that spans all five floors of the Abrons Art Center. Following a designated route that winds around obstacles and passes through usually-unseen intimate spaces, audience-performers work to deliver a message. However, the score leaves plenty of room for individual interpretation. For example, is your goal to deliver the message correctly? To change the message to fit your own views? To do your part as quickly as possible? The form allows time for little interludes to take in one’s surroundings and notice other participants throughout the building, which creates a sense of being part of a giant three-dimensional moving sculpture. The score culminates with a reconvening of the audience and a reading of the message as delivered through the system, which yields an unexpected, sometimes humorous, sometimes thought-provoking “lecture.” The brief discussion that follows in the score’s remaining time seemed to leave some unsatisfied, but perhaps that only means Score for a Lecture provided a surfeit of fodder for discussion.

American Realness Festival
Abrons Art Center
Friday, January 15, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 16, 2 p.m.
Sunday, January 17, 7 p.m.

Run Time: 55 minutes

The Bureau for the Future of Choreography has a fluctuating set of participating artists, among others: Alan Calpe, Maggie Cloud, Evelyn Donnelly, Tess Dworman, Moriah Evans, Kyli Kleven, Stephen May, Rashaun Mitchell, Stina Nyberg, Sarah Beth Percival, Suzan Polat, Will Rawls, Silas Riener, Ondrej Vidlar and more.

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Margo Gray is a performance maker and curator based in Minneapolis. Her practice centers around interactive and participatory performance, Current research includes emerging techniques in interactive theatre and performance-adjacent disciplines such as alternate reality gaming (ARGs) and Nordic live-action role-playing. She is currently the Producing Artistic Director of Playable Artworks (a sponsored project of Springboard for the Arts), a Twin Cities-based performance engine. Margo is a former Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow Art Theatre School. She holds a BA in Russian from Grinnell College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. For more information, visit and

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