Read Subtitles Aloud

by Onur Karaoglu and Kathryn Hamilton

Catch a new episode everyday leading up to the series finale on November 23rd. 

A MAXvirtual production

Presented in association with The Play Company & A Corner in the World


Let’s Say You are X, the Main Character — and Only Live Performer — 

You have all of X’s talent and egotism, defensiveness and vulnerability. At least, the subtitles on your screen dictate that you do. You used to be the resident writer for a theater company. You moved to Hollywood, created a problematic TV series, and cultivated your Instagram activism. Sorry, you don’t like being called an Instagram activist.

The pandemic hit.

Your collaborators Onur, Kathryn, Meera, and Fatih want you back—maybe grudgingly. They can’t realize their project, giving voice to the behavioral peculiarities of this moment—where more than ever before, our digitized selves lead scintillating social lives and our physical selves sit and stare, red-eyed and envious—without your evocative words, your acute observations.

And they’re going to use one of your ideas, whether you participate or not.

Play Video

Watch the trailer

Created by Onur Karaoglu Produced by Onur Hamilton Karaoglu, Kathryn Hamilton, and Sister Sylvester

Onur Karaoglu
Kathryn Hamilton
Meera Kumbhani
Fatih Genckal
and Paul Lazar

Art Direction
Christine Jones

Set and Costume Curation
Zoë Hurwitz

Lighting Designer
Bill Berner

Emily Reilly

Executive Producers
Kay Matschullat and Deniz Tortum


MAX brings you the English-language premiere of Onur Karaoglu and Kathryn Hamilton’s episodic hybrid video/performance work, Read Subtitles Aloud, a performance whose only live component is the viewer. Reading subtitles on the screen, the viewer enters as character X into a crumbling theater collective, becoming the main character in a story—of camaraderie, sex, betrayal, and the digital theater of life in a pandemic—that’s unfolding across 13 episodes. Pairing relational roller coasters with the flattened, dulled realism of Zoom sociality, Read Subtitles Aloud speaks with humor and immediacy to a moment when our physical selves have leapt further into virtual modes of connection than ever before, when it’s hard to distinguish connection from isolation. 

Performances by Onur Karaoglu, Kathryn Hamilton, Meera Kumbhani, and Fatih Gençkal, and special guest star Paul Lazar.

Read Subtitles Aloud features art direction by two-time Tony-winning scenic designer Christine Jones, costume and set curation by Zoë Hurwitz, lighting design by Bill Berner, and dramaturgy by Emily Reilly.  

Read the NYT review

Meet the Artists:

Onur Karaoglu works between performance art and theater. Since 2010, his original and adapted writing and directing pieces were presented at spaces like garajistanbul, bomontiada Alt, Roxy, Heidelberg Theater and Rotterdam Schouwburg. His installations and video works were presented at Bahar (Sharjah Biennial 2017), SPOT, Operation Room and Artnivo. He is one of the founding members of Studio 4 Istanbul that is producing theater, film works and performance space KÖŞE in Yeldeğirmeni which then turned into an international performance festival. Between 2014-2019 he worked as the director of Orhan Pamuk’s Museum Of Innocence in Istanbul. Karaoglu teaches a class dealing with the link between performance art and theater at Boğaziçi since 2013. He received BA in Sociology at Boğaziçi University and MFA in Theater Directing at Columbia University in New York.

Kathryn Hamilton aka Sister Sylvester, is an artist and self-taught microbiologist. She is a 2019 Macdowell Fellow and was a member of The Public Theater’s Devised Theater Working Group; The Public’s New Works program, at Brooklyn College; and has been a resident at The Park Avenue Armory. With Onur Karaoglu and Fatih Genckal, she was one of the founding members of KÖŞE, a performance space in Istanbul that has now become an international festival. She previously collaborated with Onur Karaoglu on Bilim Kurgu and Ruya Deligi, both of which premiered at Kose. 

Recent performances include Good Genes, Bryn Mawr; The Eagle and The Tortoise, National Sawdust, NYC; The Fall, Yale University, and Under The Radar, NYC; Three Rooms, Shubbak Festival/Arcola, London; Bozar, Brussels; Frascati, Amsterdam. Video work includes Every Hologenome For Themselves, Onassis Foundation; ARK, 601Artspace NYC; Kaba Kopya, Amsterdam University and Humboldt University, Berlin. Her work has been reviewed by Artforum, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Performance Art Journal, Télérama, among others. She is currently developing a Genetically Modified Theater series, which includes video works, a school (which has been prototyped at Bryn Mawr, UCCS and Princeton) and an evening length participatory bio-hacking performance called Good Genes.

Christine Jones is a Tony Award-winning scenographer and the Artistic Director of the critically-acclaimed Theatre for One in New York. Her West End scenography credits include Close to You, Let The Right One In and Spring Awakening. On Broadway her credits include American Idiot, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical in 2009, Old Times, Hands on a Hardbody, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Every Day Rapture, Spring Awakening, for which she was Tony nominated, and The Green Bird directed by Julie Taymor. Jones made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera in 2012 with her designs for Rigoletto. Some of her other designs include The Book of Longing, based on the poems of Leonard Cohen, with music by Philip Glass for the Lincoln Center Festival, Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare in the Park, and Burn This for Signature Theatre. She directed Queen of the Night, at the Paramount Hotel, which won a Drama Desk Award for Best Unique Experience of 2015, and has an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Set Design.