You are here:HIDVL Overview»Artist Talk | Kathy Change: Performance and Activism in Life and Death with Mary Thorn Gabriele

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
7–8:30 pm

Chinese-American performance artist /activist Kathy Change is infamously 
known for self-immolating on the campus of UPenn in 1996. For 18 years, she performed on UPenn's campus as well as on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art every Sunday, dancing, singing and waving flags as a cry for political transformation. Soomi Kim, HNYPN Artist in Residence, created a multi-media performance work about the life of Kathy Change to premier in Spring 2015 at HERE. Mary Thorn Gabriele was a friend and performer who joined Kathy on Sundays from the late 80s-90s. Join Soomi and Mary for a discussion about the life and art of Kathy change.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings.

Hemispheric New York Performance Network(HNYPN)
Led by the Hemispheric Institute and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund, the Hemispheric New York Performance Network (HNYPN) seeks to create innovative, long-term institutional partnerships with key NYC arts spaces to provide comprehensive and creative support and training for politically engaged local performance-based artists. Core partner institutions are Dixon Place, HERE, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), La MaMa, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX).

Performing artist Soomi Kim’s Chang(e) is a the third installment of a trilogy of performances inspired by Asian American visionaries. The other are: Lee/gendary, based on the life of Bruce Lee (2009 NYITA winner for Outstanding production of a play; and Dictee: bells fall a peal to sky (inspired by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s seminal work Dictee). All three are directed by and created in collaboration with Suzi Takahashi. Kim’s work has been presented at the 1st and 3rd National Asian American Theater Festivals, (Inner City Arts in L.A.) and the Samuel Beckett in NYC) Culture Project’s Women Center Stage Festival, The Asian Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA) Dance New Amsterdam, The Living Theatre, Mulberry Street Theater and HERE Arts Center. Kim has worked extensively with composer/choreographer Grisha Coleman, Ex.p girl, The Art of War (martial arts performance troupe), Fred Ho and many others. Kim is a current artist in resident at HERE Arts Center. She is a Urban Arts Initiative grant recipient and has been featured in KoreAm Journal,, Asiance magazine, Tsing Tao Newspaper, The Epoch Times, The L.A. Times, Culturebot and The Korea Times. Chang(e) is a NPN Creation Fund grantee.

Mary Thorn Gabriele was born on January 30th, 1959 in Greenwich, Connecticut. As a young adult, she worked off and on as a legal secretary, and heatlh food store clerk. Her interest in theater and in political activism, led to work as both an actor and director in various community theater companies in Philadelphia. She attended the Theater School on North Broad Street in the early 1980s. In 1979, she met Kathy Change while working on a local Community Newspaper. A decade later, she would see Kathy dancing in the streets of West Philly with her colorful flags and protest clothing and joined her in some of her protests and, most specifically, Sundays at the Art Museum in the late 1980s to early 1990s. In 1990, Mary collaborated with Change on her play “The Transformation” as a writer and performer, co-creating the Mother Earth character. She also performed with Kathy at Rittenhouse Square in Philly and other outdoor protests. Mary went on to receive her undergraduate school degree (Arcadia University, Glenside, PA) and medical degree (Drexel College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA) late in life and now works as a medical practitioner specializing in family medicine.

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