Alec Duffy moved to New York in 2000 and, inspired by the work of performance artists Linda Montano and Tehching Shieh, began to create projects that blended art and life. He eventually formed a theater company, Hoi Polloi, and created work often involving large masses of performers singing together or some sort of melding of music and theater. These pieces were produced mostly at The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, including Three Pianos, a paean to Franz Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle that he created with Dave Malloy and Rick Burkhardt and which won an OBIE. In 2012, he started JACK (named after his grandfather) with his wife Mimi Lien and several co-founders, in an attempt to build a microcosm of an ideal city, with music, theater, dance and conversation serving a larger political project of putting art to work towards liberation. 

Photo by Susan Young.