JOAN is pleased to present Playground, a production by Ann Hirsch. Playground is a two-person performance drawing from the artist’s early adolescent online encounters in AOL chat rooms. Set in the late nineties, Playground follows the online friendship between Anni (12-years old) and Jobe (27-years old) as it develops via their instant message banter, imagined and real conversations. A coming-of-age story for a first-generation internet user, the play reflects on the confusion of adolescent sexuality and the development of gender identity alongside the digital revolution.
Hirsch is a video and performance artist and writer who looks at the ways technology has influenced popular culture and gender. Her research includes becoming a YouTube camwhore–amassing over two million views on her videos–and appearing on several popular reality television shows.
Playground was originally commissioned by Rhizome and performed at the New Museum (New York) in 2013. In 2014, the play was presented at the South London Gallery at Goldsmiths College (London). A companion ebook, Twelve (2013), was censored from the iTunes store but is now available at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery (New York). Hirsch has been an artist-in-residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, Florida), Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, New York), and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York). Hirsch lives in Los Angeles.
Playground at JOAN is made possible by the Media Arts Assistance Fund, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, Electronic Media and Film, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Wave Farm.
Anni played by AnneMarie Wolf
Jobe played by Gene Gallerano