About

Mission…

A Host of People is a Detroit-based ensemble theater company creating original work that celebrates complexity, imagination, and the synthesis of seemingly disparate elements—at once epic and intimate, political and personal, poetic and approachable. AHOP exists to create aesthetically rigorous, intellectually challenging theatre that is also warm, welcoming, and inspiring to people from all walks of life. All of our programming moves the company in this direction. We choose our subject matter and themes very carefully with an eye to stories, topics, and aesthetic approaches that will be equally thrilling to the most adventurous  theatre fans as well as those with less exposure to the form.

History…

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 StarrThe Chocolate Factory TheaterThe KitchenHEREDixon Place, etc.), Berlin (Ida Nowhere, The Lyn-Lin), San Francisco (Intersection for the Arts, Fury Factory Festival), Cleveland (Cleveland Public Theatre), New Orleans (Catapult), Detroit (HomeBase, The Play HouseArtlabJThe Sidewalk Festival For the Performing ArtsThe Jam HandyLight Box, Andy) and elsewhere.

Since relocating to Detroit in Fall 2012, the company has created and produced six original evening-length works, curated/presented multiple installments of two distinct performance series, toured to several U.S. cities, and developed an in-school "arts-forward" educational program that is closely tied to our productions. In 2014, 2016, and 2019 A Host of People was a recipient of the Knight Arts Challenge Detroit Award and, in 2018, co-directors Sherrine Azab and Jake Hooker were Kresge Artist Fellows.

Vision…

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?, Cleopatra Boy), collaged texts (Life Is Happening To Us Again), historical figures (The Modern WomanRe-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, living room-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.