The Humans: Alexandre Singh (World Premiere)

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is proud to present the world premiere of The Humans, by visual artist and writer Alexandre Singh.

The Humans tells the story of two spirits named Tophole and Pantalingua, who would rather see the Earth not created. The work is modeled on the comic writings of Aristophanes and set during the dawn of time and space. In a battle against the egomaniacal Creator, Tophole and Pantalingua conspire their way to an accidental Paradise Lost, ultimately corrupting the eponymous humans—portrayed as a vast, songful, and statuesque Greek chorus—into the flawed mortals we are today.

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. Singh shared and developed his research and production through public presentations of his work-in-progress centered around thematic monthly public events at Witte de With, titled Causeries. During these public conversations Singh looked at topics ranging from cosmology and cosmogony to satire, theatrical costumes, and scatology as well as key inspirational figures such as Aristophanes, Alexander Pope, P.G. Wodehouse, William Hogarth, John Ruskin, South Park and Woody Allen, resulting in this full-fledged theatrical account of the universe’s creation.

The Humans is commissioned by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and Performa. The Humans is co-produced by Preromanbritain LLC.; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art; Productiehuis Rotterdam; Rotterdamse Schouwburg and Performa 13. It is presented in partnership with Festival De Keuze and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

Festival De Keuze presents: TALKS, with Alexandre Singh & Liesbeth Levy

On the morning following The Humans’ world première, philosopher Liesbeth Levy and Alexandre Singh reflect on Singh’s creative process. Singh acquired a wealth of inspirational material during his creative process in the ‘Causeries’, and Humour was one of the the connecting threads in his research. Levy questions what role satire and irony play in our society, in his opinion.

Location: Rotterdamse Schouwburg



Written and directed by: Alexandre Singh
Costume Design: Holly Waddington
Light Design: Guus van Geffen
Music: Gerry Arling, Touki Delphine (Rik Elstgeest and Bo Koek) in collaboration with Annelinde Bruijs, Robbert Klein, Amir Vahidi.
Mask design: Alexandre Singh
Set design: Alexandre Singh, Jessica Tankard


Ms.Chief: Simona Bitmaté
Harry Foulbreech: Jesse Briton
Pantalingua: Elizabeth Cadwallader
Tophole: Sam Crane
Charles Ray: Phillip Edgerley
Vernon/31: Ryan Kiggell
N: Flora Sans


Sanne den Besten, Annelinde Bruijs, Folkert van Diggelen, Dook van Dijck, Sanna Elon Vrij, Loulou Hameleers, Lucia Kiel, Suzanne Kipping, Robbert Klein, Gerty Van de Perre, Lucas Schilperoort, Amir Vahidi


Duchess: Annelinde Bruijs
Crone: Sanne den Besten
Splingebottom: Jesse Briton
Bullen: Dook van Dijck
Vermillion: Phillip Edgerley
Strumpet: Loulou Hameleers
Frau: Lucia Kiel
Fingerer: Ryan Kiggell
Hag: Suzanne Kipping
Bertrand: Robbert Klein
Dandy: Lucas Schilperoort
Wife: Gerty Van de Perre
Husband: Folkert van Diggelen
Macaire: Amir Vahidi
Bray: Sanna Elon Vrij


Commissioners: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and Performa, New York
Commissioner: Defne Ayas
Producer: Maaike Gouwenberg
Co-producers: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Preromanbritain LLC.; Productiehuis Rotterdam; Rotterdamse Schouwburg; Performa 13, New York
Presentation Partners: Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; Festival De Keuze, Rotterdam
Production partners: A.P.E (art projects era), Codarts (Academy of Music and Theater)
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam):
Project Manager: Amira Gad (Managing Curator)
Head Technician: Paul van Gennip (Deputy Director)
Technical producers: Gé Beckman, Ties Ten Bosch, Carlo van Driel, Line Kramer, Chris van Mulligen, Hans Tutert, Jonathan den Breejen
Business Coordinator: Sarah van der Tholen
Press: Josine Sibum Siderius, Angélique Kool
Rotterdamse Schouwburg:
Director: Ellen Walraven
Business Coordinator: Bert Détermann
Head of Programing: Walther van den Heuvel
Head Technician: Thijs Teunissen
Technical Coordination: Michiel Sipman
Stage Managers: Ferry Kranssen, Roland van Wensveen, Sefton Guebbels
Head of Marketing: Ruben Israël
Productiehuis Rotterdam:
General Manager: Tanja Elstgeest
Programmer: Dave Schwab
Publicity: Anne Helsen / Eva van den Hove
Office Management: Sally Mometti
De Keuze Festival (Rotterdam):
Artistic Director: Mark Yeoman
Programmer: Judith Blankenberg
Marketing: Tjeerd Langestraat


Assistants to the director: Elly Scheele, Alice Walter
Choreography Assistant: Nina Boas
Script Editor: Ella Christopherson
Stage Managers: Simone Scholts, Kirsten Visser, Siemen van der Werf
Production Assistants: Youri Guepin, Judith Hulsbosch
Sound Engineer: Guido Langendoen
Sound Assistant: Margreet van der Helm
Light Technician: Jorg Schellekens
Stage Technician: André Goos
Set: Gé Beckman, Paul van Gennip, Case Miller (Sun and Moon), Geert Schuurmans, Hans Borggreven, Niels Vis
Prop Supervisor: Tyler Considine, Merel van ‘t Hullenaar
Props: Christian Hansen, Thomas van den Oever, Renée Staal, Niels Vis
Stagehands: Liz Allan, Tyler Considine, Sriwhana Spong
Masks: Ronald Schinkelshoek
Costume Supervisor & Head of Wardrobe: Merel van ‘t Hullenaar
Wardrobe Assistants: Maria Esteri, Anne Kluytenaar, Bo Mulder, Charlotte ten Raa, Carmen Schabracq, Fleur Tonino, Lisa Vlamings, Jennifer Williams
Costume Assistant: Malin Anderson, Thera Hillenaar
Make-up Artist: Susanna Peretz
Make-up Assistant: Wouter Somers
Casting Director: Hancock Stevenson, London


Cinematography: Sal Kroonenberg
Sound: Frank van der Weij
Editing: Alexandre Singh
Production: Judith Hulsbosch


Studio Manager: Laura Turcan
Studio Production Manager: Tyler Considine
Studio Assistants: Jessica Tankard, Thomas van den Oever, Renée Staal


AGI Verona Collection and the Private Collection Asiago
Art:Concept (Paris)
Codarts Rotterdam
Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin
Fonds Podiumkunsten
Gemeente Rotterdam Dienst Kunst en Cultuur
Institut Français
Le Meurice (Paris)
Monitor (Rome)
Preromanbritain LLC.
Sprüth Magers Berlin London
Stichting Niemeijer Fonds


Jack Bakker; Tessa van Beek; Caroline Dose; Elizabeth Everall; Fabrique Urbaine; Agathe Finney; Marjolein Geraedts; Athena Gronti; Michael Hesp; Studio Miessen; Ronald Jorissen; Maria Pask; Niels Post; Dafni Psarrou; Hessel de Ronde; Joshua Thies; Meg Turner; Jan Zoet; the participants of the Causeries public event series: Kathleen Burk, Alan Cummings, Marieke Dhont, Brian Dunphy, Pascal Dupuy, Jessica Frazier, Iki Freud, Peter de Graeve, Donatien Grau, Edith Hall, Robert Hewison, David Inglis, Andrew Jaffe, Amy Kenny, Adam Kleinman, Bernadette Leclercq-Neveu, Bénédicte Lemmelijn, Liesbeth Levy, Graham Ley, Tullio Lobetti, Gareth Long, Nick Lowe, Valeria de Lucca, Martin Myrone, Alexa Piqueux, Adriaan Rademaker, James Robson, Philip Smallwood, Yoram Tomasowa, Claudio Vellutini, Alexander Verpoorte, Francis Wolff.




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