The Society of Societies
Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria, 2023

90 min.

Concept & Direction: Michael Portnoy
Performers: Moss Beynon Juckes, Kevin Bonono, Marcus McKenzie, Michael Portnoy, Alex Tatarsky, Kathleen Taylor
Harpsichord: Anna Kiskachi
Sound design: Antonia Manhartsberger
Costume and stage design: Katharina Heistinger

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ΚΌ23

The reinvention of human exchange is the main topic of The Society of Societies. Drawing upon his signature absurdist breed of dictatorial participation, a salon-style evening leads participants through carnivalesque interactions governed by new sets of rules about speech, behavior, roles, and the production of meaning. Each of the 125 participants were given were given one of 33 roles such as Director of Choreography, Director of Terms, Director of Innovations, Director of Radical Hospitality, Director of Things, etc. The event was conducted by five performers and accompanied by a live score for harpsichord.