GALLERIES choices ("especially recommended") , (Kim Levin), The Village Voice --April 15, 1997
With tender portraits of the homeless on mailbags by a mailman, a wallful of glove sculptures by an amnesiac wanderer, hip hairpieces by a bald Texan hairdresser, and an installation of tinfoil flies by a schizophrenic and his granny, this exhibition of ousider art looks so far out that it's in. It is: the visionaries who supposedly created these works don't exist. Along with their bios and the collection they are part of, they're figments dreamed up by the group called Thieves Theatre. The pseudonymous curator, Mary Feast, says she herself is "not embodied but has been on the Internet." Heidi Ho's existance is dubious, too. But never mind the hoax, those clitoral gloves are quite wonderful.
R.A.T.'S 'LIPPIZANER' IS ROWDY AND UNCONVENTIONAL HOLIDAY FARE, (Michael Upchurch), The Seattle Times --December 12, 1996
Highlights include... a frenzied Elvis-worship skit, drawing parallels between the King and Christ ("Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights... Elvis had irregular eating habits").
RAT DROPPINGS (Robert Faires), arts Articulations, The Austin Chronicle --August 1996
The highlight of the RatRave, however, may well have been the renegade art action that occurred during the "Whim Vendors" workshop. The workshop leaders, longtime practitioners of politically-edged street theatre, had brought with them a 20-foot long painting with the specific intent of plastering it over an obnoxious local billboard. Ten RATs canvassed the city looking for a suitably odious piece of advertising and found it just north of the UT campus, at the intersection of Guadalupe & 29th Streets. At high noon on Friday, four members of the group climbed boldly onto the roof of Al's Formal Wear and slapped their renegade art on top of a Miller Lite billboard. Now, over those three women sporting "life is Good" across their collective busts stands a mutant mouse crying out, "Despite My Rage [sic], I'm Still Just a Ratt at a Rave." While we don't expect the Miller folks to agree, we consider it a real improvement.
AMERICA IS AN OLD COUNTRY (Dick Hebdige), Artforum --October 1992
The Manhattan tepee has this disconcertingly monumental aspect. It draws
attention to itself, as if it had been designed to make a historical point:
Tent City's wigwam announces the return of the repressed to the grimy nodes
of New York's ultrarationalist grid. It advertises the enduring failure of
the capitalist city-and of the abstract technocratic regimes that the city
represents, and on which it depends-to cater for its own.... Tent City's
tepee is both an invocation of the history of expropriation and genocide
that accompanied the founding of the nation, and an indictment of the system
that continues to uproot, "vanish," and dehumanize the ghosts that-against
all odds-go on dancing in its margins.
VOICE CHOICES (C. Carr), The Village Voice --September 10, 1991
Two artists who've been living in a shantytown since last November present
Heiner Mueller's Despoiled Shore Medeamaterial Landscape With Argonauts
right there in their tepee, integrating the text with their own writings.
They're also inviting people to come the night before the play opens to see
an exhibit called "Counting Coup," pictures of the many "tourists" who've
come to photograph them-made with disposable cameras by their shantytown
neighbors. Seating for the play is as limited as you might imagine, so
reservations are a must.
OUR LOCAL CORRESPONDENTS: SHANTYTOWN (James Lardner), The New Yorker --July
In April, Gabriele put together an application for a grant, to be used
largely to plant grass and do some landscaping on the Hill, and she
approached a local foundation that sponsors self-help projects involving the
poor. The response was discouraging. The foundation, on its officials told
Gabriele, preferred projects that would "bring change"-a phrase that in the
homelessness context appeared to mean getting people off the street. After
a friendly back-and-forth about what constitutes change and how to achieve
it, Gabriele decided that she would give up on the grant idea for the time
being and see what could be done without outside money. She bought some
seeds and seedling, and, with help from Nick and Louie, planted them in a
plot of ground next to the bridge. Every day, tens of thousands of people
drive by the Hill, and many of them get a good long look at the place as
they wait for the traffic light at Canal and Chrystie to turn green. In
recent weeks, they have been staring harder. To the spectacle of a
shantytown with a tepee at tits center has been added the fresh incongruity
of a tiny garden, in which, some mornings, a couple of shanty dwellers can
be seen sprinkling water over an assortment of summer flowers and a handful
of pepper and tomato plants.
STAGES, American Theatre --May 1987
Thieves Theatre... is intrepid to say the least.
CITY OF THE DAMNED (Eileen Myles), New York Native --April 20, 1987
What's great is to imagine this play done completely wild: which it wasn't,
though there's so little non-established experimental theater that even
comes close to desiring wildness that the debut of this company, Thieves
Theater, is to be respected and appreciated. And lots of times they got it
HERE'S MY ASS (Evelyn Holst), Stern [Germany] --April 15, 1987
Trash, the City and Death is a posthumous gift to Fassbinder. He would have
enjoyed the production.
TRASH, THE CITY AND DEATH (Thomas M. Disch), The Nation --April 11, 1987
If Fassbinder had been looking down from heaven, one knew he would have been
THE RICH NEW IN MANHATTAN (Rainer Weber), Der Spiegel [Germany] --#15/1987
Thieves Theatre was able in a few strong strokes to convey the explosive
power of a piece which wildly vomits itself out.
THE TRASHHEAP OF HISTORY (Robert Massa), The Village Voice --March 31, 1987
Thieves Theater combines a random, self-consciously sleazy amateurism with
weirdly intense conviction-true to descriptions of the "antitheater" company
for whom Fassbinder originally wrote the play.
THEATRE CENTRE'S COLLECTIVE CORE (Nick Shehan), NOW [Toronto]
--March 15-21, 1984
A recent production at the Theatre Centre perhaps captures best what the space has to offer. A short lived run of Peter Weiss' Marat Sade turn into a fierce debate amoung audience and performers over whether the parameters of acceptable theatre had been violated. AKA Performance Interface articstic director Richard Shoichet was instrumental in producing the play... "The production was very convincing. Such exciting theater is successful theatre -- I'd call it a definite success."
DON'T WHIP MARAT/SADE (excerpt) (Robert Grant), NOW [Toronto] --February,
As a member of the audience who viewed all three performances I must say that I was more than pleased. It has been a long time since I have seen such energetic and important theatre. Unlike much theatre I have seen these productions raised questions -- made me think, wonder, and feel.
PROSPECTING FOR GOLD ON THEATRE'S FRINGE (excerpt) (Robert Crew), Toronto Star --July 1982 I finally struck it rich the other night at the Theatre Center... Under Tanuj Kohli's taut direction, Schafer and van der Stoop switch from role to role with dizzying versatility. This is an acting partnership, with Schafer in particular showing fine range and control. A rich vein of theatre indeed.