Sunday, October 3, 2010

H. M. KOUTOUKAS - Research by Magie Dominic

Koutoukas, Photo by James Gossage, Lincoln Center, 1985

Documentation


The following information is my attempt to document the work of H.M. Koutoukas. The list is probably incomplete and dates may be disputable. Sources include The  Billy Rose Theater Collection at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts; James D. Gossage archives; La Mama E.T.C. archives; Theater for the New City archives; Judson Poets’ Theater archives; Doollee Online Database; Lortel archives; Robert Patrick; and The New York Times. Very little information has so far been found for the years 1980-1988. —Magie Dominic  

Plays by H. M. Koutoukas
(alphabetical list of titles)

1. All Day for a Dollar, or Crumpled Christmas
2. Amphetamine Glamour
3. Atlantis and More
4. Awful People Are Coming Over So We Must Be Pretending to Be
Hard at Work and Hope They Will Go Away
5. Black and Blue and Freezer Burned on Monday
6. The Book for Joel
7. Burglar on the Roof
8. Burglars and Bunglers
9. Butterfly Encounter
10. Cause Célèbre
11. The Children’s Crusade
12. Christopher at Sheridan Squared
13. Cobra Invocations
14. Corn on the Cobb
15. Dead at Sea (a Collaboration)
16. Death by Desire
17. Enough Said the Custard Heart
18. Feathers Are for Ramming, or Tell Me Tender Tales
19. French Dressing (revue, written with others)
20. Grandmother Is in the Strawberry Patch
21. Hand Job for Apollo
22. Howard Kline Trilogy
23. Invocations of a Haunted Mind
24. Last Night I Dreamt I Was Julie Bravado
25. The Last Triangle (an Embroidered Camp)
26. A Letter from Colette, or Dreams Don’t Send Valentines
27. The Machine That Couldn’t
28. The Man Who Shot His Washing Machine
29. Medea, or Maybe the Stars May Understand (a Ritualistic Camp)
30. The Methedrine Madonna
31. Michael Touched Me
32. My Orpheus
33. Omy Queen of the Faeries (an Historic Camp)
34. One Man’s Religion
35. Only a Countess May Dance When She’s Crazy
36. A Perfect Picture of Picture Perfect
37. The Pinotti Papers
38. Pomegranada
39. Pope Joan
40. Quicksilver (A Lyric Tragedy)
41. Ring of Death
42. Skin of the Night
43. Starflowers in an Ancient Land
44. Suicide Notations (a Play for Fire Escapes)
45. Theory for the Application of Rainbows
46. Tidy Passions, or Kill, Kaleidoscope, Kill (an Epic Camp)
47. Too Late for Yogurt
48. Turtles Don’t Dream, or Happy Birthday, Jesus
49. The Ugliest Gargoyle
50. The View from Sorrento
51. When Clowns Play Hamlet
52. With Creatures Make My Way (a Bitter Camp)


Production History

Only a Countess May Dance When She’s Crazy
December 1964, January 5-24, 1965: Caffè Cino. Revived in 1991; see When Lightning Strikes Twice.

The Last Triangle (an Embroidered Camp) and Pope Joan
March 15, 1965:Writer’s Stage, as part of a benefit organized by Edward Albee for the Caffè Cino, which had been destroyed by a fire on March 3. The Last Triangle was revived November 18-21, 2004: Know Theatre, Binghamton, New York.

With Creatures Make My Way (a Bitter Camp)
May 1965: Caffè Cino (first production after the fire); directed by Roberta Sklar, with Warren Finnerty; lighting by John P. Dodd.

Tidy Passions, or Kill, Kaleidoscope, Kill (an Epic Camp)
June 1965: La Mama; directed by the author, with Charles Stanley (as Jean Harlow), Linn Johnson, Tosh Carrillo, Mari-Claire Charba, Alice Turner, Andrew Sherwood, Jacque-Lynn Colton; music by Charles Stanley; technical coordinator: Ellen Levine. Published in More Plays from Off-Off-Broadway, edited by Michael Smith (Bobbs Merrill, 1972)

Omy Queen of the Faeries (an Historic Camp)
June 28-, 1965: La Mama; directed by the author, with Helen Hanft; music by Charles Stanley.

Feathers Are for Ramming, or Tell Me Tender Tales
September 23, 1965: Coda Galleries.

Medea, or Maybe the Stars May Understand, or Veiled Strangeness (a Ritualistic Camp)
October 13-17, 1965: La Mama; October 19-31, 1965: Caffè Cino; directed by the author, with Charles Stanley, Pat Holland, Daniel Davis; music by Robert Cosmos Savage; set by Kenneth Burgess. October 29-November 14: Theatre Genesis; directed by Warren Finnerty, with Linda Eskenas, Anthony Sciabona.

All Day for a Dollar, or Crumpled Christmas
December 1965: Caffè Cino; directed by the author, with Charles Stanley, Candace Scott, Robert Dahdah, and Ron Link; sets by Charles Stanley; lighting by John P. Dodd; movement by Deborah Lee; music by Robert Cosmos Savage. Revived in 1991; see When Lightning Strikes Twice.

Cause Célèbre
1966: Caffè Cino

A Letter from Colette, or Dreams Don’t Send Valentines
February 15-26, 1966: Caffè Cino; directed by the author, with Mary Boylan and Edward Barton (Bhartonn); lighting by John P. Dodd. Revived December 1 and 10, 2006: Know Theatre, Binghamton, New York.

Pomegranada
March 1966: Judson Poets’ Theatre; opera with music by Al Carmines; directed by Al Carmines, Michael Elias, Julie Kurnitz, Burt Supree, David Vaughan, Margaret Wright, and Walter Harris on drums and Al Carmines at the piano. Also performed July 9, 1966, at the Sundance Festival, Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.

Turtles Don’t Dream, or Happy Birthday, Jesus, or Amphetamine Angel
February 4, 1966: Carnegie Recital Hall. Revived June 30-July 10, 1977: Theater for the New City; directed by the author, with Illa Howe, Gino de Fulgentiis, Mary Boylan, Joy Hattis; music by Robert Cosmos Savage and Tom O’Horgan; choreography by Gino de Fulgentiis; scenery by Mario Rivoli; lighting by Don McConnell.

The View from Sorrento
1967: Caffè Cino

When Clowns Play Hamlet
February 1967: La Mama; directed by the author, with Jeff Weiss, Mary Boylan, and Beverly Grant; music by Robert Cosmos Savage.

Michael Touched Me
1967: Caffè Cino

The Book for Joel
April 10, 1967: Judson Memorial Church, as part of a Memorial Offering to Joe Cino.

The Machine That Couldn’t
June 1967: 13th Street Theatre; directed by the author; choreography by Marjay, lighting by Charles Stanley, sets by Kenneth Burgess, music by Robert Cosmos Savage.

Two Camps by Koutoukas
March 18-April 2, 1968: Actors Playhouse; a double bill of The Last Triangle (an Embroidered Camp) and a revival of Only a Countess May Dance When She’s Crazy; presented by Barbara Wise Productions, Inc.; directed by the author, with Gretel Cummings, Eddie McCarty, Aileen Passloff, Margaret Wright; musical director: Benji Heywood; incidental music by Robert Cosmos Savage; choreography by Aileen Passloff; costumes by Maria Irene Fornes; lighting by John P. Dodd.

Howard Kline Trilogy
1968: NYC.

Invocations of a Haunted Mind
October 31, 1969: Elgin Theatre; published in The Off-Off-Broadway Book, edited by Albert Poland and Bruce Mailman (Bobbs-Merrill, 1972).

Death by Desire and Last Night I Dreamt I Was Julie Bravado
November 1970: Elgin Theatre.

Christopher at Sheridan Squared
November 1971: Performing Garage; designed and directed by Donald L. Brooks, with Harvey Fierstein, Bryan Hayes; choreography by James Waring.

Suicide Notations (a Play for Fire Escapes)
October 22, 1972: fire escapes of Christopher Street; directed by J. S. Hall, with Lisa Jane Persky, H. M. Koutoukas, Jackie Curtis, Taylor Mead, Ronald Tavel, James Hall, Ron Whyte, Jane Roberts; videotaped by Rudi Stern and the Global Village collective.

Grandmother Is in the Strawberry Patch
July 1973: La Mama; directed by the author, with Lisa Jane Persky, Benton Quin, Mary Boylan; music by Albert Fine. Also winter 2007: Know Theatre, Binghamton, New York.

French Dressing
1974: revue, written with others.

One Man’s Religion and The Pinotti Papers
January 1975: La Mama; double bill.

Starflowers in an Ancient Land
December 25, 1975: La Mama; music by Tom O’Horgan and Gale Garnett.

Theory for the Application of Rainbows
September 1977: Circle Repertory Theatre; play for six characters written for memorial for Charles Stanley; cast included Magie Dominic.

Too Late for Yogurt
April 1978:Westbeth Theatre Center; directed by the author, with Mary Boylan, Ronnie Cooper, Bruce Eyster, Peter Hulit, Russell Krum, Viva Welles; scenery by Peter Hulit; lighting by Carol Grubner.

The Butterfly Encounter
1978:Theater for the New City: music by David Forman. 

Quicksilver 
January 1, 1979; with Russell Krum, Robin Harvey, Beau Kennedy; lighting by John Dodd; sets by Christopher Robin.
November-December 2005: Know Theatre, Binghamton, New York.

The Ugliest Gargoyle
January 16,1987; Astor Place Playhouse; directed by the author, with Russell Krum.

Hand Job for Apollo
1988: NYC

When Lightning Strikes Twice
January 1991: Charles Ludlam Theatre; double bill of Awful People Are Coming Over So We Must Pretend to Be Hard at Work and Hope They Will Go Away and a revival of Only a Countess May Dance When She’s Crazy; presented by the Ridiculous Theatrical Company; directed by Eureka, with Everett Quinton; set by Tom Moore; costumes by Daniel Boike; lighting by Richard Currie; props by Vicky Raab; jewelry by Wendy Gell; production stage manager: James Eckerle; music and sound: James Bennett. Published by Samuel French. Awful People… was also presented in 2003 by Know Theatre, Binghamton, New York.

Skin of the Night
October 8-, 1992: La Mama; directed by the author, with Deborah Braun, Giselle Liberatore, Stewart A. Gardner, Maggie Low, Ann Harris, Robert Lanier, Jean-Claude Vasseux, and John Edward Heys.

Enough Said the Custard Heart
December 1993: Theater for the New City; directed by the author; scenery by Richard Kordtz and Richard Currie; costumes by Carol Tauser.

Dead at Sea
April 27, 1999: Dixon Place; a performance in collaboration with Thom Fogarty based on H. M. Koutoukas’s journals.

The Man Who Shot His Washing Machine
January 25-February 18, 2001:Theater for the New City.
Review

Corn on the Cobb
April 2001:Theater for the New City.

A Perfect Picture of Picture Perfect
February 20-March 9, 2003:Theater for the New City.

Ring of Death
June 10-27, 2004: Theater for the New City; directed by Maggie Low, with Florence Young; costumes by Carol Tauser.



Published Plays

Invocations of a Haunted Mind
in The Off-Off-Broadway Book:The Plays, People, Theatre, by Albert Poland and Bruce Mailman; Bobbs-Merrill, 1972.

Tidy Passions, or Kill, Kaleidoscope, Kill
in More Plays from Off-Off-Broadway, edited by Michael Smith; Bobbs-Merrill, 1972.

Awful People Are Coming Over So We Must Be Pretending to Be Hard at Work and Hope They Will Go Away and Only a Countess May Dance When She’s Crazy
in When Lightning Strikes Twice; Samuel French, 1991.

Medea of the Laundromat, or The Stars May Understand
in Return to the Caffè Cino, edited by Steve Susoyev and George Birimisa; Moving Finger Press, 2007.



Awards

National Arts Club Award for Experimental Playwriting, for The Last Triangle, 1965.

Obie Award from The Village Voice; Special Citation “for the style and energy of his assaults on the theatre in both playwriting and production,” 1966.

Chesley Playwriting Award from The Publishing Triangle, New York, 2003.


Radio

The Reading Experiment
Pacifica Radio Station/WBAI, 1975-1976.
"Miss McIntosh, My Darling" by
Marguerite Young.
Produced by Charles Ruis.

Chapter 18, "The Rape Scene", read by H.M.Koutoukas.

Program Details

Chapter 18 Audio
 




Relevant Books
referencing H. M. Koutoukas, Caffè Cino, and
Off-Off-Broadway

H. M. Koutoukas 1937-2010, Magie Dominic (Editor), Michael Townsend Smith (Editor); Fast Books Press, 2010.

Theatre Journal, Winter 1967, by Michael Smith; University of Missouri Press, 1967.

Joseph Cino and the First Off-Off-Broadway Theater, article by Douglas W. Gordy in Passing Performances: Queer Readings of  Leading Players in American Theatre History, edited by Robert A. Schanke and Kimberley Bell Marra; University of Michigan Press, 1998.

Greenwich Village 1963: Avant-Garde Performance and the Effervescent Body, by Sally Banes; Duke University Press, 1999.

The Queen of Peace Room, by Magie Dominic; Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2002.

Off-Off-Broadway Explosion: How Provocative Playwrights of  the 1960s Ignited a New American Theater, by David A. Crespy, with a Foreword by Edward Albee; Back Stage Books, 2003.

Playing Underground: A Critical History of the 1960s Off-Off-Broadway Movement, by Stephen J. Bottoms; University of Michigan Press, 2004.

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre; article on Caffè Cino by G. Bordman and T. S. Hischak; Oxford University Press, 2004.

Caffè Cino:The Birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway, by Wendell C. Stone; Southern Illinois University Press, 2005.

Return to the Caffè Cino, edited by Steve Susoyev and George Birimisa; Moving Finger Press, 2007.

The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era, edited by Billy J. Harbin, Kimberley Bell Marra, and Robert A. Schanke; University of Michigan Press, 2005.


Libraries & Archives

Billy Rose Theatre Collection, Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts: James D. Gossage Photo Collection; Caffè Cino Collection.

Rutgers University Archives: Special Collections.

New York University, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library: Fales Library and Special Collections; 3 ID: 232.0013, Harry Koutoukas Oral History; interviewed by Kait Medley, November 11, 2008. Richard Hell Papers Collection: three collaborative poems by Cookie Mueller and H. M. Koutoukas: At the Hour Before Dawn, Keep a Few Things in Mind, and Those Days, 1981.



Joe Cino and Harry Koutoukas, La Mama, 1965. Photo by James Gossage