Controversial performance artist, Karen Finley will be collaborating with Off-Off-Broadway's Bat Theatre Co. for her latest, The Return of Chocolate Smeared Woman, June 17 - July 4, at the Bat's home -- The Flea Theater.
In 1990, the NEA revoked her fellowship because of her We Keep Our Victims Ready, where in one scene Finley smears her body with chocolate. In The Return of..., Finley deconstructs her Victims using the collage of misinformation that subsequently appeared regarding her and her work.
Return will be directed by the head of The Bat Theatre Co., Jim Simpson. Simpson received an 1990 Obie Award for directing Mac Wellman's Bad Penny. Other shows directed by Simpson include:Him starring Christopher Walken at the Public, Merchant of Venice with Sigourney Weaver at CSC, and Kelly Stuart's Demonology starring Marisa Tomei.
The show is written by Finley and features set and light design by Kyle Chepulis, sound by Mike Nolan and choreography by Christine Buscemi and Jun Kim. Also appearing in the show will be Daniel Gurian, Angela Tweed, Phillip Leong, Dacyl Acevedo, Kate Benson, Carrie Jenkins, Nicole Kovaks , Charlotte Melen, Marianna Newhart, Nikki Wooster, Sarah Yorra, Pamela Zimmerman, Burton Shaffer, Jun Kim, and other members of The Bat's resident company of 31 actors, The Furballs.
The Bat Theatre Company is a core group of theatre artists acting as producers with a mission of seeking out new talents, voices and creative minds. The Bats are: Jim Simpson, Mac Wellman, Kyle Chepulis, Mike Nolan, Jan Leslie Harding, Eduardo Machado, and Laurie Stone. Karen Finley is a performance artist who uses theater to aggressively address subject matter which ranges from the social to the political to the personal, including her feelings that examine the oppressive attitudes directed at the female body.
Karen Finley's The Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman runs June 17 - July 4 at The Flea Theater (41 White Street). For information and reservations call (212) 226-0051.
-- By Sean McGrath