A Host of People
Neither There, Nor Here is an original, multimedia, interdisciplinary memory play-meets-cooking show directed by Sherrine Azab and Jake Hooker and created by A Host of People. NTNH focuses on the experience of people with liminal identities of race, gender, culture and sexuality. Via personal stories, memories, and family artifacts, it investigates those who live between so-called traditional binaries to create their own culture as they move beyond more typical either/or identities, all through the lens of a cooking show where the performers prepare dishes representative of their mixed identities.
Torri Lynn Ashford
Aja Salakastar Dier
Karilú Alarcón Forshee
A Host of People is an ensemble-based, multi-media theater company located in Detroit. We’re dedicated to inclusion, diversity, and equity — of collaborators, of stories, of audiences, and of aesthetics. Neither There, Nor Here directly reflects those values more fully than any other in the company’s history. NTNH began through our co-director’s desire to name her own feelings of “in-betweenness” but quickly evolved into a dynamic, multi-focal, challenging conversation amongst our ensemble members. Through these conversations and early artistic experiments, it’s clear that NTNH has the potential to help open a dialogue about mixed identities that is sorely needed. Detroit is the perfect place to grow our work because Detroiters are experimental, adventurous, politically and socially engaged, and at once warm-hearted and coolly realistic. AHOP reflects that spirit and NTNH aims to work with and for those who fall in-between the typical binaries, with an eye towards creating a beautiful, buoyant, non-binary aesthetic experience that gets people talking, offers new perspectives, and asks difficult questions that tend to go unasked. We are A Host of People not only because we make work collaboratively, as a host, but because we believe in hosting people at our work, as we would guests in our home. NTNH will bring that mission to the fore, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to recommit to our “hosting practice” through the performance itself as well as the community meetings, interviews, andwork-in- progress events we will host to make this show as effective and infectious as possible.
From A Host of People’s website:
Born in Brooklyn in 2010 and raised in Detroit since 2012. The company is led by co-directors Sherrine Azab and Jake Hooker, whose work has been seen, together and separately, in New York (The Bushwick Starr, The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, HERE, Dixon Place, etc.), Berlin (Ida Nowhere, The Lyn-Lin), San Francisco (Intersection for the Arts), Cleveland (Cleveland Public Theatre), New Orleans (Catapult), and Detroit (HomeBase, The Play House, ArtlabJ, The Sidewalk Festival For the Performing Arts, The Jam Handy).
We create art around these questions: How can we host more people into theatrical works that are complex and multifarious; work that is poetic, visual, multi-focal, and frees the viewer’s imagination, curiosity and spirit? We draw from existing literary works (Time! and/or Progress?), collaged texts (Life Is Happening To Us Again), historical figures (The Modern Woman, Re-Release Party), social movements (The Harrowing), and personal story (Neither There, Nor Here), among other sources. In addition to producing 1-2 shows a year, we curate a series called Performance, Potluck, and Punch that pairs two short, livingroom-sized performances in our home and invites our neighbors in for the price of a dish to share. In 2017, we inaugurated SUPERYOU: A Queer Performance Event.
We invite audiences into our art as we would guests into our home, whether it is in our house, on the street, in a garden, or in a theater.