Mar 26, 2017

Downtown Icons Panel

Moderated by C. Carr and Maura Nguyen Donohue

a black arrow pointing downward

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club's 55th Anniversary has brought together four legendary performers of the Off-Off Broadway movement. Kate Bornstein, Susana Cook, Karen Finley, and Edgar Oliver will lead the Downtown Icons Panel following the March 26th performance of Susana Cook's Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts. Artists, students, and historians are invited to attend the performance and post-show talk back to ask questions regarding their past and current individual work, Off-Off Broadway history, downtown theater culture, queer performance history, the 1990s culture wars, freedom of expression, and how to create work in the current political climate.

This panel is FREE, but space is limited. Purchase tickets to Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts on March 26th to guarantee a seat.

Use #OffOffIcons to submit questions to @LaMaMaETC on Twitter!


From Kate Bornstein, Susana Cook, Karen Finley & Edgar Oliver

Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts
March 24, 2017 - April 2, 2017

Written and Directed by Susana Cook

This was the story of a king who is actually a queen, who is sent in exile, imprisoned in Athens and found 45 years later in Argentina at a tomb contest. But then, major historical events disrupt the process revealing that nobody is dead.

The ghosts of totalitarian past return to haunt the story. The narrative that got us here no longer serves us. We have to respond to the urgency for resistance and survival, and create a theatrical language of dissent and pleasure. In this witty and funny magic realistic play, Susana Cook redefines presence, the energy of the people who inhabit our life, and the ghosts of our past following us everywhere.

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London Paris
April 7, 2017 - April 16, 2017

Written and Performed by Edgar Oliver

LONDON PARIS is an intimate, fairy-tale conversation in a club setting which will illuminate the genesis of the man Edgar is today. Before Edgar moved to the Lower East Side in 1977 he began his travels from Savannah roaming across England and France with his sister Helen. They lived in Paris studying Baroque art and learning such amazing facts as: Alka-Seltzer may cure botulism and that the wine providing Angel of the Trash Can’s name was Poo-bella. After a mythic trek to Chartres across fields of wild flowers reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, Edgar journeyed to London to study art at the Courtauld Institute. He lived in the White House Hotel and there encountered other revelations, amazing creatures and experiences that have shaped his life.

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Kate Bornstein: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us
April 21, 2017 - April 30, 2017

Written and Performed by Kate Bornstein

Come spend a cosy evening with your very own Auntie Kate, who promises you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll gasp out loud as she speaks about the last thirty years of her life as a non-binary identified queer trans dyke.

This is an evening of her most favorite heartwarming anecdotes, touching and sometimes-painful personal trials and tribulations, and inspiring tales of putting the world to rights. Her performance is at once deeply personal and universally acceptable, weaving together stand-up comedy, theatrical monologues, and heart-to-heart storytelling to convey the experience of her long, rich non-binary trans life.

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The Expanded Unicorn Gratitude Mystery
May 5, 2017 - May 14, 2017

Written and Performed by Karen Finley

Finley brings her rave reviewed solo performance that explores the recent heightened US political presidential landscape that takes on citizenship, gender disparity and abuse of power. The individual price of public relationships at the price of privacy becomes divisive with searing psychosexual dynamics of wit and seething revelation. The performance explores magical beings, aggressive thankfulness, and collective intimacy through Shakespearean family nation dramatic traumatics. This is an experimental nonlinear poetic text that creates a jolt of intuition, analysis and unnatural disaster of the human kind.

Finley plays a unicorn, and morphs into a Hillary-like Trump-like being while enveloping into the blueness of the blue dress of Monica Lewinsky.

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headshot of Kate Bornstein

Celebrated transgender trailblazer Kate Bornstein has—with humor and spunk—ushered us into a world of limitless possibility through a daring re-envisionment of the gender system as we know it.

headshot of Susana Cook

Susana Cook writes and performs bold, authentic, gender bending, funny, queer performance art/theater that sharply critiques injustice. Argentinian born, a prolific writer and performer, Susana’s voice of protest contains visceral knowledge of the look and feel of dictatorship. Listen up.

headshot of Karen Finley

Karen Finley received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Working in a variety of mediums such as installation, video, performance, public art, visual art, entertainment, television and film, memorials, music, and literature, she has presented her work worldwide in various venues such as The Bobino in Paris, The ICA in London and Lincoln Center in NYC. Finley lectures and gives workshop at universities and museums internationally. Her work is in collections such as the Museum of Contemporary art and the Pompidou. She is the author of eight books, including a 25th anniversary edition of Shock Treatment ( City Lights 2015 ), Reality Shows, (Feminist Press 2011), and George and Martha ( Verso 2008). Her recent work includes, Artist Anonymous – a social practice self help open meeting for those addicted to art presented at Museum of Art and Design (2014) ,  and Written in Sand, a performance of music and her writings on AIDS, Open Heart, a Holocaust memorial at Camp Gusen, Austria; Broken Negative, where Finley reconsiders her infamous chocolate performance that brought her to the Supreme Court, in Finley vs. NEA; and at the New Museum, NYC Sext ME if You Can, where Finley creates commissioned portraits inspired by “sexts” received from the public. Finley creates interactive walks such as Mandala: Reimaging Columbus Circle Columbia Graduate school of Architecture and Elastic City. A recipient of many awards and grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship, NYSCA and NEA fellowships. In 2015 she was awarded the Richard J Massey Foundation Arts and Humanities award.

headshot of Edgar Oliver

Edgar Oliver has performed in countless plays including Edward II with Cliplight Theater; Marc Palmieri’s Carl the Second; Kestutis Nakas’ When Lithuania Ruled the World and numerous productions at Axis Theatre including A Glance at New York (Edinburgh Festival Fringe & NYC); Julius Caesar; USS Frankenstein; the Hospital series and his critically acclaimed solo shows Attorney Street (NYT Critics Pick) and In the Park. His one-man show East 10th Street has performed in Edinburgh (Fringe First Award), Charleston, SC (Spoleto Festival) and in New York City (Axis and PS122). His one-man show, Helen and Edgar (directed by Catherine Burns of The Moth), performed at Theatre 80 St. Marks, Dartmouth College, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA and at the Public Theatre as part of the Under the Radar Festival. His film roles include That’s Beautiful Frank; Henry May Long (directed by Axis’ Randy Sharp) and Gentlemen Broncos (directed by Jared Hess). Hand made, limited edition collections of Edgar’s writings are available from Oilcan Press –

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