June 25th - July 9th, 2011 at 306 17th St. (between 5th and 6th Ave), South Slope, Brooklyn
Opening Reception: June 25th, 7-10PM Play by Dramahound Productions: June 25th, 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM
Open Source is proud to announce its first show in our new space. Mi Tigre, My Lover, is a multi-media installation by Naoe Suzuki, originating from a series of Naoe’s paintings, with the related play by Anne Phelan of Dramahound Productions. Phelan’s play, of the same name as Suzuki’s paintings, was inspired by the paintings and uses them as a backdrop for her production. This is the third play at Open Source Gallery by Dramahound Productions and we are very excited to host the fusion of painting and live theater by these two talented artists.
Suzuki’s paintings were inspired by “The Final Confession of Mabel Stark” by Robert Hough, a novel based on a true story of a renowned female tiger trainer in the early 1900s, the golden age of the circus.
Mabel’s life was certainly a tumultuous one. In 1909, Hough writes, she joined the circus as a sideshow dancer, leaving her short career as a nurse. She then married a rich man from Texas only to leave him a few months later to join the Cosmopolitan Amusement Company as a cooch dancer. It was not long before she had her own cat act, with a pair of both lions and tigers, with the Al G. Barnes Circus.
By the early twenties, Mabel’s wrestling tiger act became the best-known cat act in the American Circus. In the novel she also raised a tiger cub into adulthood–her favorite tiger, Rajah. She bottled-fed Rajah and let him sleep with her in her bed. Although having been mauled several times during her career, Mabel kept returning to the tigers’ cage time and time again.
In her artist’s statement Suzuki states: “It was this ‘love affairs’ aspect of her relationships with tigers that fascinated me, as well as her wild career and private life. In Mi Tigre, My Lover, there’s a complex play of love/power relationship between a woman and her tiger. Obsession, control, submission, passion, tension and love filled the space between them.”
Mabel Stark committed suicide on April 21, 1968. According to a show-business newspaper, she died of a heart attack at the age of seventy-nine. Having always lied about her age, Hough says, Mabel’s true age at the time of her death was actually unknown.
Despite having five husbands and surviving many severe maulings by her tigers, Mabel seemed to have preferred her tigers over her men. Mabel’s relationships with both tigers and men were no doubt complex, and it is this idiosyncrasy of Mabel’s life that fascinates Suzuki.
Dramahound Productions is thrilled to produce the first play in Open Source Gallery’s new space entitled My Tiger, My Lover, written by Anne Phelan as inspired by Naoe Suzuki’s paintings. The cast includes Cotton Wright as Mabel Stark and Jacob Grigolia- Rosenbaum as Rajah the tiger, both featured in last year’s “Deconstruction.” It will be directed by Tamara Fisch, with costumes by Sidney Shannon. Jacob has graciously volunteered to choreograph the whip violence, so we hope it will be a feast for both your eyes and ears.
The play My Tiger, My Lover will be presented on June 25th at 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM as part of the reception for Naoe Suzuki. Admission is free. ***
Open Source Gallery 306 17th St. Brooklyn, NY 11215