The Onyx Fool at the Smithsonian

In the summer of 2016, original art (a painting I did for posters),  photographs and scripts from my performance piece, the Onyx Fool were added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute archive of American. Although I have been in a few in a couple of exhibits at museums, I was never in a collection before, so it was kind of a thrill.  Here’s the catalog entry.

The Onyx Fool was a serial that I created, directed, and performed in, along with a large cast at 8BC in the fall of 1984, where episodes 1 through 6 ran on a weekly basis. Each episode was performed twice – once on Sunday and once on Wednesday.

Just south of Tompkins Square Park, in the East Village, tucked in between shooting galleries and crumbling tenements,  8BC was the fulcrum of the avant-garde performance scene of that era.  You can see the diverse performances available in the jpg of the schedule that appears on this page.

Later in 1984 there was a staged reading at the Mark Taper Annex in Los Angeles (with a cast of local LA actors) and there was a consolidated performance of episodes 7-9 at the Courtyard Playhouse. A 2 part condensed version was presented in 1985 at the Nameless Theater in 1985 under the Title Danger’s Back/Is Danger Finished.

The Onyx Fool was a monumental project for me. I have put off blogging about it because it’s a little hard to wrap my head around. But in the meantime here are some photos of the wonderful cast, the black and white ones are by Lynn Kanter.