September 3rd - 24th, 2021 @ MITU580, Brooklyn, NY
A telephone hotline, a vinyl record, a performance.
Is anyone out there? Is anyone listening? Are we alone? In 1977, NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecrafts to try and answer these questions. Aboard both is an artifact intended to communicate who and what we are: The Golden Record. After 43 years and over 13 billion miles, this proverbial message in a bottle is the farthest human-made object from earth. If we were to send another message into the distant future, what message would we send?
To answer this, Theater Mitu created a public telephone hotline prompting people to leave messages to the future. These voicemails make up the source material for a vinyl record and a live performance created in partnership with SETI Institute, Arizona State University’s Interplanetary Initiative, and Brooklyn Independent Middle School.
As we re-emerge from this unprecedented year, Utopian Hotline creates a moment of community. Twelve audience members will gather, not in the darkness of a traditional theater, but under soft light, on a pink carpet, around a communal table, to re-imagine our shared future. Together, we will acknowledge coming into community as a radical action. An action that has consistently shaped this planet’s future. An action that reaffirms that someone is listening, that we are, in fact, not alone.
Created by Theater Mitu and directed by Rubén Polendo, the piece will premiere at MITU580 in September 2021.
DIRECTED BY: Rubén PolendoCREATED BY: Kayla Asbell, Denis Butkus, Cinthia Chen, Alex Hawthorn, Michael Littig, Dima Mikhayel Matta, Justin Nestor, Rubén Polendo, Scott Spahr, Corey Sullivan, Monica Sanborn, Isabella Uzcátegui, and Ada Westfall.IN PARTNERSHIP WITH: SETI Institute, Arizona State University's Interplanetary Initiative, and Brooklyn Independent Middle SchoolUTOPIAN HOTLINE WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF The National Endowment for the Arts, New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The MAP Fund, The Foundation for Contemporary Art, Café Royal Cultural Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The New York Community Trust and our generous individual supporters.
– This is a non-narrative performance installation, which is experienced entirely on headphones. Think of it as a puzzle and the missing piece is you. The headphones act as a tether, connecting you to the performers.
– This is an immersive installation. You will be invited to remove your shoes upon entrance to the exhibit and choose a spot to sit on a comfortable pink carpet. We are happy to support any additional accessibility needs.
– Each performance is approximately 45min in duration with multiple performances occurring on each day (please see the schedule for exact timings).
– There is no intermission.
– A gender neutral bathroom will be available before and after each performance, upon the opening of the lobby.
– The use of strobe/flashing lights, loud audio, provocative language, and references to real mental/physical violence are used in this performance.
– Proof of vaccination will be required for all audience members to enter the venue and attend a performance and may include: the NYC COVID Safe App, excelsior pass, vaccination card, or photo of vaccination card, all with a valid ID.
– Masks for all audience members will be required. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you by the Box Office upon arrival.
– Audience members are encouraged to practice social distancing while inside MITU580.
– Anyone exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within 2 weeks prior to their arrival, are asked to please stay home.
– Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival will be asked to leave in order to keep our community safe.
– All headsets are sanitized for each performance.
Theater Mitu reserves the right to revise these safety requirements at any time towards creating a safe environment for our community.
All performers and staff of Theater Mitu are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.