Alexandre Singh, The Humans, BAM New York, November 2013 © Kate Lacey and Alexandre Singh, Courtesy Witte de With and Performa

Alexandre Singh The Humans

BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn MAP

The Humans is a new play by Alexandre Singh modeled on the comedies of the poet Aristophanes, a master of the Athenian Old Comedy, which is characterized by exuberant, often bawdy, satire based around public persons and affairs. Set in a half-formed world at the beginning of time and space, we follow two spirits named Tophole and Pantalingua, who together conspire to prevent the creation of Earth. Believing the unseen creator of the universe to be a vain and egoistical maniac, the protagonists attempt to undercut his divine authority and hinder his progress, but inadvertently cause the eponymous humans, who play the Greek chorus, to fall from grace, transforming them into the messy, imperfect beings that we understand as human. As in much of Singh’s work, characters from this world – in this instance the artist Charles Ray or the Nesquik Chocolate Bunny – are drawn into mythological, surreal narratives, which nonetheless have a convincing, eerie, ring of truth to them.

The Humans is co-commissioned by Performa and Witte de With (Rotterdam), and co-presented in New York with Brooklyn Academy of Music. Alexandre Singh was invited by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, to develop The Humans at Witte de With from April 2012 to January 2013, after which he continued to work on the play in Rotterdam. Curated by Defne Ayas.



Purchase a special artist's edition on sale with Artspace


When you purchase a ticket to attend a Performa 13 performance, you will receive a special code for a free Uber ride in your email confirmation.


Generously supported by Performa Producers Circle member Metro Pictures and Sprueth Magers, Mimi Brown and Alp Ercil.

Event Title
Date & Time
  • Sun. Nov 10, 9:00 pm
Two evenings of poetry, cabaret interventions, and impromptu performances celebrating the singular Fernando Arrabal.
  • Wed. Nov 20, 8:00 pm
  • Thu. Nov 21, 8:00 pm
  • Fri. Nov 22, 8:00 pm
  • Sat. Nov 23, 8:00 pm
Vitale transforms her studio in Long Island City into a mythical saloon-weather station-brothel, populated by a cast of tap-dancing astrologers, rattlesnake-bitten cowboys and dart throwing Indians.