SAN FRANCISCO (April 19, 2021) - The critically-acclaimed San Francisco Neo-Futurists are excited to premiere their first-ever full-length performance, The Program, an immersive one-on-one theatrical performance that takes place entirely over the phone. In this 45-minute interactive performance, audience members will dive into a telephonic wormhole that takes the universal experience of navigating an automated phone tree to its most absurd and hilarious extremes. But don't worry: there's an operator standing by.
Using Twilio — a software platform typically used by corporations to manage phone service hotlines — The Program’s co-creators Ezra Reaves (they/them) and Amy Langer (she/her) created a way to bring the SF Neo-Futurists’ avant-garde and experimental style to audiences in a completely new (and socially-distant) way. Via the sonic intimacy of listening to a voice on the phone, The Program explores connection, alienation, and the emotional uncanny valley of automated services like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana.
“We are thrilled to be premiering The Program as the SF Neo-Futurists’ first full-length production,” says Co-Artistic Director Margaret McCarthy, “and it couldn’t be more timely: The Program tackles the forced isolation and omnipresent loneliness of our times, while allowing participants to examine technology’s limited ability to provide connection through it all. And it brings in the genuine audience engagement and interaction that’s such a core component of our company’s work, all with a uniquely unpredictable and dadaist sensibility.”
“It’s been amazing to see the evolution of this piece over time,” says Co-Artistic Director Topher Lin. “Amy has been creating short phone plays for over six years now, both in The Infinite Wrench and in our post-COVID move to digital theater, and Ezra has been iterating short-form versions of The Program’s internal world since 2015. It’s wonderful to see these two come together to create this brand-new, participatory long-form piece that draws on some of their earlier short-form work.”
The Program is a 45-minute immersive experience that runs every Friday through Sunday, from May 14 through May 30. Ticket holders will be emailed a phone number and instructions prior to their scheduled performance. Due to the one-on-one nature of the show, there are limited spots available.
The Program was created with the collaborative assistance of Ziz Simoens (she/her), a video game designer based out of London who has worked with Punchdrunk, creators of Sleep No More. The Program also features performances by NY Neo-Futurist alum and voice of the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, Cecil Baldwin (he/him); Chicago and SF Neo-Futurist alum Brenda Arellano (she/her); and current SF Neo-Futurists Tonya Narvaez (she/her) and Clare Palmer (they/them).
WHEN: May 14 - 30, 2021
WHERE: Remotely, via a private phone line
TICKET PRICES: Sliding scale, from $25-$75. Advance reservation required. To purchase, go to www.sfneofuturists.org/theprogram
QUESTIONS: email or visit .
IMAGE CREDIT: Corinne Dodenhoff, corinnedodenhoff.com