Public Engagement

General Public

DUST by Robert Ashley

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Ernst C. Stiefel Concert Hall, Arnhold Hall, 4th floor 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

Mannes School of Music at The New School, presents Robert Ashley’s DUST in a new production by William Gustafson and Troy Hourie. 

Hailed by Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times as “the most tantalizing operatic offering by a New York conservatory this season”, this production of DUST will feature students from The New School’s College of Performing Arts under the musical direction of long-time Ashley collaborator, Joan La Barbara.

Composed in 1998, DUST combines live mixing and sound processing, improvisation, and pre-recorded music, all over a libretto based off of the free-associations, conversations, and waking dreams of five “street people.” The highly experimental vocal delivery combines a range of traditional and unconventional vocal techniques, from singing and speaking to mumbling and whispering. 

"Imagine a street corner anywhere in the world, where those who live on the fringes of society gather to talk, to each other and to themselves, about life-changing events, missed opportunities, memory, loss and regret.  Five 'street people' recount the memories and experiences of one of their group, a man who has lost his legs in some unnamed war. As part of the experience of losing his legs, he began a conversation with God, under the influence of the morphine he was given to ease his pain. Now he wishes that the conversation, which was interrupted when the morphine wore off, could be continued so that he could get the “secret word” that would stop all wars and suffering.” -Robert Ashley 

Stage Director: William Gustafson
Sound Design: David Van Tieghem and Emily Auciello
Production / Musical Consultant: Tom Hamilton
Music Director: Joan La Barbara
Scenographer: Troy Hourie
Associate Scenographer: Paul Cegys

I Live in the Park: Mario Diaz-Moresco
Lucille:  Julia Meadows 
Shirley Temple: Marisa Karchin / Samantha Scully
Green Pants & Co:  Allison Gish / Evelyn Rivera-Cardenas
The Rug:  Alexander Greenzeig

Event Type

Theater Performances, Music Performances


General Public


Performing Arts


College of Performing Arts, School of Drama, Mannes School of Music, School of Jazz


Music, Technology


General: $25 Students: $15. Available at the Ticket Central Box Office, open Noon - 8:00pm daily (212) 279-4200, or online at

Recent Activity

People Interested

Getting Here

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.