Born in Argentina, Susana Cook is a New York based performance artist who has been writing and producing original work for over 20 years. She has presented over 17 original plays in New York and around the world. Susana writes and directs all her shows and performs in them with her company . Her work is bold and funny, cleverly tackling racism, homophobia and animal rights. Her cast is comprised mostly of minority and queer women. Her work has been presented in numerous performance spaces in New York City, including Dixon Place, PS. 122, W.O.W Cafe Theater, Ubu Rep, Theater for the New City, The Puffin Room and The Kitchen. She also performed internationally in Spain, France, India, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Canada and at several colleges and universities around the country.
Some of her latest shows are : Run! it’s getting ugly, Non-Consensual Relationships with ghosts, Conversations with Humans, We Are Caligula,The Funeral of the Cow, The Homophobes, The Fury of the Gods, Homeland Insecurities, The idiot King, The Values Horror Show, 100 Years of Attitude, Dykenstein, Hamletango, Prince of Butches, Gross National Product, Hot Tamale, Conga Guerrilla Forest, The Fraud, Butch Fashion Show in the Femme Auto Body Shop, Rats:The Fantasy of Extermination and Tango Lesbiango.
She also received awards from New York Foundation for the Arts, Arts International, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, The Franklin Furnace Archives, The Puffin Foundation and INTAR.
Her work is archived at the Digital Video Library of The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics of New York University.
Dykenstein is a lesbian adaptation of the classic story of “Frankenstein.” In this play, Dr. Dykenstein triumphantly creates “the perfect dyke,” but one of her assistants carelessly leaves the creature unattended in front of a TV and a bunch of trashy magazines. Brainwashed by mainstream media, the perfect dyke becomes a “wild” straight woman. Desperate for a husband, the monster threatens to murder Dr. Dykenstein if he does not make one for her. “Dykenstein” is a parody of the Christian Right’s take on science, the U.S. anti-abortion crusade (which declared that having aborting a fetus older than two weeks is murdering an American citizen), and the rights of women.
Hamletango, Prince of Butches is an adaptation of “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” with an all-women’s cast. In this play, all the original elements of Shakespeare’s play appear rearranged, transformed. Here, the prince is a woman and the ghost is her mother. If in the original drama the ghost of the father comes back asking his son for revenge, causing a tragedy where everybody dies, in this version the ghost of the mother does not come back asking for revenge. Ophelia appears here as a good swimmer, but the audience still witnesses her funeral –and so does she, next to the other characters, bringing together the living and the dead, ghosts and ashes. The tragedy, then, becomes a comedy. At the end of the drama –as in the original “Hamlet”– a group of clowns comes to tell “what really happened.” Represented as peasants who just witnessed the death of the whole royal family in the hands of each other, the clowns find themselves in a palace full of clothes, food, and wine, without a King, a Queen, or a Prince. So they dress with their clothes, drink their wine, and celebrate.
Written and Directed by Susana Cook @ La mama. 2017
Blues in Drag is a video created by Susana Cook for Dixon Place’s 2020 HOT Festival Performed by Timo Hughes and Susana CookMusic by Julian Mesri and Johnny Seven.
Homerun is a monologue about God and home runs that Susana Cook performs playing a guitar. The solo piece was inspired by a commentary by a famous baseball player that Susana saw on TV, in which the player presented home runs as “a God-giving thing.” In the monologue, Susana humorously locates this “gift” in inadequate contexts like Argentina, where baseball is not a popular sport like in the United States; and she also imagines a female protagonist who, despite her talent, would not make it to the major league because of her gender. “Homerun” was part of “Rivers of Honey, Women’s of Color Cabaret,” held at WOW Theater Café in New York City.
REVIEW Non-Consenual Relationships with Ghosts by MAURA DONOHUE in ARTS ADVOCACY MAR 31, 2017 Someday, if the Earth survives this oligarchy’s drive to suck the life out of her and us, historians, archivists, and survivors will share stories of the work being made in “this era.” This past Sunday I co-moderated, with former Village Voice writer C.…
Review of The Values Horror Show by Lauren Marks at nytheatre.com. The world according to Susana Cook is an interesting one. She lets the audience know immediately that the world is a dangerous place, but Cook interrogates why it is dangerous and who is making it that way. She draws a quick relationship between fear and God, but focuses more on how fear controls us, keeping us paralyzed from revolting against that which is revolting.
What is political theater? What is apolitical theater? What makes theater political? How can you create political performance?