Fri. & Sat. August 4 & 5 at 8pm.  Sun. August 6 at 7pm. (Note non-standard curtain time)


Directed at Ko by Alex Torra (Team Sunshine)

With participation by KoFest artists, a secret lineup of local performers, and members of the Detroit ensemble A HOST OF PEOPLE

In an era where facts don’t seem to matter, in an area where fractious town meetings are the rule, and in a time when we have lost all sense of the humanity of those who disagree with us — we invite you to an evening of utter nonsense.

What is it?

The Society of Civil Discourse is an interactive night of debate, appreciation, hating and rhetorical excess. It’s  all about style, not substance.

The event gives people a chance to have fun in community, with art at the center. Its an event where the line between performer and audience member gets blurred. You can come and quietly watch the entire night, or you might take us up on this opportunity to show off your best rhetorical skills. You might even be might tapped for the Great Debate that concludes the evening. But most of all, you’ll have the opportunity to learn to love the people you argue passionately with.


The best way to understand is to watch this brief video:

As you can see, the evening’s events will happen in several phases. Attendees get name tags and there is a brief period for mingling, beverages, after which all present are called to order and invited to become members of the fictitious SOCIETY OF CIVIL DISCOURSE.  After a brief and fun induction ceremony, audience members are invited to circulate between three or four different talking stations at their own pace.  At these stations your trained facilitators will guide you into a debate, gripe session, appreciation. You might defend an opinion: Pick a card with silly opposing views on it. Defend one.  You listen to others make noises of appreciation 0r disagreement. And at any time you can take a break to get a drink or a snack.


Professional Argument Teams and a few outstanding audience members selected from Phase 1 engage in a 5 round debate over a secret topic. After choosing a team name there will be 5 debate rounds:

Round 1: Opening Statements

Round 2: Personal testimony

Round 3: Fake statistics

Round 4: Mime

Round 5: Closing statements

We invite you to watch, heckle, applaud and vote for the winners.

The meeting of the Society of Civil Discourse is formally adjourned but you are invited to stay and hang with all the cool people you’ve just met — and argued passionately with.

SKU: SCD Category:


About the Artists

Founded in 2010, TEAM SUNSHINE PERFORMANCE CORPORATION creates planet earth’s finest performance works and interactive community-gathering events. Ranging from theatrical duets to massive, outdoor spectacles, the company’s eclectic body of work blends the social with the artistic, creating opportunities for people to come together and revel in the pleasures and difficulties of our collective contemporary experience.

JACOB WINTERSTEIN is a lifelong Philadelphian, poet, host and teaching artist. He is also the co-founder of Camp Bonfire, a summer camp for adults.

THE PHILLY PIGEON has been organizing poetry slams, workshops, artists’ residencies and performances in Philadelphia since 2012.

ALEX TORRA (Director) Team Sunshine Team Member is an Associate Artist and former Associate Artistic Director with Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he has worked as a performer in Welcome to Yuba City, PAY UP, 365 Days/365 Plays, and Anodyne; as assistant director on Chekhov Lizardbrain and Sweet By-and-By; and as director of Come to My Awesome Fiesta, its Going to be Awesome, Okay?  Other acting credits include Enjoy (Play Company, NY).  Directing credits include: Punchkapow and JapanAmerica (Team Sunshine); Comedy of Errors and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in Clark Park); Anaerobic Respiration (The Shifting Company) at the 2005 NY International Fringe Festival.  Awards include 2007 Princess Grace Award (Grace Le Vine Theater Award), 2007 Oregon Shakespeare Festival F.A.I.R. Directing Fellowship, and 2006 Drama League Fall Directing Fellowship.  Alex received his MFA in directing from Brown University.

Facilitators/Hosts at Ko will include local performers and Ko Festival rehearsal residency artists, including the members of the Detroit-based ensemble A HOST OF PEOPLE.

Additional information


ADULTS / SENIORS / STUDENTS $17 (includes a $2 processing fee), People with SNAP or EBT cards $11 (includes a $1 processing fee)


Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 7pm

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