Susana Cook writes, directs and performs bold, authentic, gender bending, funny, queer performance art/theater that sharply critiques injustice. Susana’s voice of protest contains visceral knowledge of the look and feel of dictatorship.
Non-Consensual Relationships with Ghosts, originally presented at La MaMa, reveals that the ghosts of totalitarian past and present enter to haunt our stories. The narrative that got us here no longer serves us. Thus, immigrants and refugees respond with urgency to resist and survive, creating a theatrical language of dissent and pleasure. Susana Cook redefines presence, the energy of the people who inhabit our life, and the ghosts of our past following us everywhere. Political satire and resistance theater at it’s best.
Written and Directed Susana Cook, featuring: Mattie McMaster, Michael Burke, Drae Campbell, Hector Canonge, Dorrell Clark, Mistah Coles, Susana Cook, Moira Cutler, Michael Freeman, Kathie Horejsi, Marie Christine Katz, Annie Lanzillotto, Hjørdis Linn-Blanford, Margherita Peluso, Jennifer Rodriguez, and Simba Yangala
“Susana Cook is among the best artists working in America, doing cultural work that will transform the way we see things” – Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace
“Must see – Susana Cook and cast – riveting resistance profound” – Karen Finley, Performance Artist
“It is said that Susana Cook’s new play "Non-Consensual Relationships with Ghosts" is an antidote to our discouraging times and a gift to our wounded world. I couldn’t agree more!” – Jackie Rudin, Marketing & Advertising, Organizer, Activist
“What a great show - - funny, smart, cathartic, deep, poetic, fun, imagistic, healing - - did I say funny!?!? Susana Cook and her expressive eclectic team of performers have created something wonderful!! An antidote to our discouraging times - - A gift to our wonderful world - - A uniquely fun evening! Don’t be the NYC fool that misses this.”
– Audrey Kindred, NY Society for Ethical Culture
“To awaken and heal. That is Susana Cook's mission. And that's what she does, so successfully. I went to her show, and I had not laughed like that in years maybe. I don't remember the last time that I had laughed like that. I laughed until my face hurt. I laughed because I could. I laughed because I wanted to. I laughed because it was funny. I laughed because it was sad. I laughed because we are in a time that laughter is just so needed. I laughed because I didn't see what was coming. I loved laughing. It made my face hurt, it made my jaw hurt, it made the back of my head hurt. I laughed because once I was laughing, I couldn't stop laughing. I laughed because the ghosts looked like burqas. Then I laughed because the lights in people's mouth's looked like cell phones shining up at walkers' faces on the streets at night. Becoming ghosts of ourselves. I laughed because our evolution has taken us there. To this time and place where we don't look up. Where we don't see each other, where we don't connect or see the person walking by us. Where we don't even bother to save our own lives while crossing the street. I laughed because I recognized it, this move toward lighted mouths in unenlightened times. I laughed because the wigs were blonde and I've been waiting for the world to dye itself blonde in Trump's name. There it was. People not even knowing why they do things. Then I laughed because the immigrants were being held back by just a rope. Then I almost cried. But then I laughed again because the plant in the corner had died for lack of water. Almost crying. I laughed because the penguins got so fat they couldn't fly. And then I laughed because the penguins came out in nuns' habits and gowns with big crosses weighting them down. Everything came together. And nobody even knew it was happening. Intuition had taken it there. A great writer. A person who doesn't even study herself, but just writes. To awaken and heal.” – Jessica Kindred, Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts, Psychology at School of New Resources, The College of New Rochelle
“Susana Cook and company's Non-Consensual Relationships With Ghosts at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club broke my heart open tonight. I thought about how Dan Fishback said before the magical night we shared at Squirts this year that seeing Susana's work got him through the Bush years. I can see, now, how Susana's work is and will continue to b so necessary in the Trump years. Because it reminds us that all our work, our voices, our togetherness, and our fighting to find a way out of no way towards liberation and community through poetic action IS SO NECESSARY. Is NOT superfluous. WILL KEEP US ALIVE and sane throughout the endless lying scapegoating disappearing silencing obscuring gaslighting. That we have to keep making art in all the ways that each of us makes art in our lives despite the particular oppressions that try to silence and separate us.
In Susana's play, the ghosts of dictatorships past come back, but so do all the resisters queers community organizers clowns and poets of dictatorships past to help us in the current manifestation of fascism we are facing down now. There is heartbreaking grief and there is undying hope that feels so rooted in the past and the courageous dreaming of the present. Julián Mesri's music lifts everybody up in swirls of celebration again and again within this horror show!” –Mieke Dee, Theater Artist, Cultural Worker
ABOUT SUSANA COOK
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 El Museo del Barrio, Dixon Place, BAAD: Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, PS. 122, W.O.W Cafe Theater 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: 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.
Susana has 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.