• Susie Sokol, Vin Knight and Mike Iveson in Arguendo at the Public Theater, New York, September 2013. Photo by Joan Marcus.
  • Susie Sokol, Ben Williams, Vin Knight and Mike Iveson. Photo by Joan Marcus.
  • Mike Iveson. Photo by Paula Court.
  • Vin Knight and Mike Iveson. Photo by Joan Marcus.


augmenting a stage performance of a Supreme Court Case

Date: Fall 2013
For: The Public Theater
Collaborators: Ben Rubin, Elevator Repair Service, Mark Hansen
Role: custom software design

Arguendo re-enacts the 1991 Supreme Court Case Barnes v. Glen Theatre, initiated by a group of go-go dancers against an Indiana law banning public nudity. Electronically mediated with references to relevant court cases and the First Amendment, the play provides insight into the complex interactions between attorneys, judges, and citizens inside the courtroom. The entire oral argument is staged verbatim, interspersed with real interviews from the lawyers, justices, and an exotic dancer claiming her first amendment right to express herself nude. The play explores the moral boundaries & societal codes governing dance and self-expression.

Arguendo was co-commissioned by The Public Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage and Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. Arguendo was workshopped at The Public’s 2013 Under the Radar Festival and developed in part at The Bushwick Starr, New York Theatre Workshop and at Abrons Art Center, Vineyard Arts Project and LaMaMa E.T.C.

Projection design by Ben Rubin and The Office for Creative Research. OCR also developed the custom software to combine texts from the First Amendment and relevant court cases into the script. The play was created and performed by the Elevator Repair Service theater company.