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Prowling the Abyss
Created and Performed by Karen Anne Light
Direction & Dramaturgy by Elizabeth Baron

“Intensely poetic and delightfully avant garde exploration of Greek mythology and queer femininity.” - Lisa Marie, audience member at Orlando International Fringe Festival

photo by Krys Fox

At Medusa’s comedy club, the host is no longer the Medusa of myth (though she’ll tell you the tale - as she remembers it). She is a lipstick lesbian battling the patriarchy that tried to kill her eons ago. Her weapon? Stand-up comedy! With some very unusual takes on historic and mythic events, her "tight ten" runs a bit long, and what she considers “relatable content” ranges from her salad days with Sappho to sicking the harpies on her least favorite Supreme Court religious extremists.   
 
The other “comics,” all played by Karen Anne Light in this solo play, absurdly express parts of the Femme archetype, provoking Medusa into deeper truths. Butter Sandwich strains to share poetic insights about her favorite dish, but she’s so exhausted she can’t get off the floor. Tremble Lip, a breathy, sweet femme just wants to ride in cars, drinking milkshakes with the butch of her dreams. Together, these characters mend a fragmented and forgotten Femme mythology.

This piece is the latest devised work in Karen Anne Light and Elizabeth Baron's careers of devising toward/from the Feminine in theater (Agamemnon, Portals, The Wallaby Way, among many). We are physical theatre artists who have each independently sought to discover and articulate a physical theater by and for the Feminine and, thus, humans of every expression. We now join forces to seek the Queer Femme. The forms in this play encourage audiences to face the wounding  of the Feminine within themselves, and to experience Femme on her own terms.

Upcoming Performances

The Vino Theater

274 Morgan Ave, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

June 23 @ 6:30 pm 

June 24 @ 8 pm

June 25 @ 8pm

 

Production History

Orlando International Fringe Festival (Orlando, Florida) May 2024

Tucson Fringe Festival (Tucson, AZ) January 2024

HOT! Festival, Dixon Place (NYC) July 2022

Theaterlab's Gallery Series (NYC) October 2021

City Artist Corps Grant, 2021

What Reviewers & Audiences Are Saying

" Light has a winning character in Medusa, all piercing looks at the audience, dramatic pauses and an arch delivery that never lets you forget she’s more powerful than you. Her glee at a story that involves castration is both delightful and terrifying.

Light’s high-concept show, directed by Elizabeth Baron, finds other aspects of the female psyche taking the stage, and Light smartly differentiates her characters." - The Orlando Sentinel, Matthew J. Palm

"Medusa is back with a brand-new snake-free head, and she’s got quite a few bloody bones to pick with humanity — at least the male half — in this gonzo solo performance art piece starring writer Karen Anne Light and directed by Elizabeth Baron. Light’s reimagined monster is a queer femme icon [ . . . ].

This Medusa may not turn audiences to stone, but there’s certainly something hypnotic about her [ . . . ].

[Y]ou don’t have to be a harpy, historian or homosexual to be engrossed [ . . .]. -The Orlando Weekly, Seth Kubersky

"Prowling the Abyss is a stunning, one-woman show filled with compelling characters and empowering themes. ... 

 

Powerful, beautiful, and intensely dynamic... exploring a wide variety of themes such as new love, assorted misogynies, and the embrace of female empowerment. 

 

Karen’s ability to seamlessly and convincingly switch between these three characters is simply breathtaking. ...It’s an incredible feat to witness!

 ... a compelling story, focused on various aspects of femininity, the queer experience, and the embrace of authentic womanhood.

This show is an absolute roller coaster of emotions and experiences, all cleverly guided by Light’s acting talent and gift of movement." - Krysti Reif, Freaks of HHN, Orlando, FL

"I loved it! What a joy to spend time with these characters, these voices, these ruminations, these passions and curiosities. Most of all, what a joy to watch Karen's immense talents on display, shifting between these different personae and embodying these disparate, beautiful, grotesque, absurd, harrowing spirits. [...] I appreciated them all as elliptical, thoughtful meditations on conflicting attitudes of power."

-
Joshua Fesi: writer, creator, producer, Brooklyn NY

"I went through stages of avoidance, looking away [...] because I’ve been taught to see my own femme nature as a joke or something to use to manipulate men, not something to just be. I thought about the categories we are put into as women and actors. [...] It made me think about de Beauvoir’s opening statement about no one being born a woman, but becoming one from learning her role.
-Alyssa K. Simon: actress, NYC

“Seeing you go so far into these parts and take space and play in them, made me think that, if she can do THAT, then surely the parts of myself that I hide or think are too much…they can take up space, too."
...
"I was hungry in my soul for that show."
-
Acious, Tucson, AZ

photo by Gontran Durocher

photo by Gontran Durocher

“Hauntingly visceral, deeply personal, wild, and unburdened- hit me to the core.” - Torrey Shineman, performer, NYC

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so specifically articulate and embody so many characters.”

“When you became the Cat, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!”

-Acious, audience member at Tucson Fringe Festival

"I saw it as an invocation."

-Tamar, audience member, Tucson Fringe Festival

"Generous. Kind. Bold. The most moved and held I have felt by a piece of art since Miranda July's Kajillionaire."

-Erika MacDonald, solo performer, theatre artist

"You were unhinged and beautiful and you touched my heart." -Lucy Kay, audience member at Orlando Fringe

"Off the wall - strange, fun, insightful, truth - LOVED IT." -Bonnie Sprung, Orlando Fringe

"Your creativity and dedication to the craft is so admirable. Fav solo show by far. You did so good to Medusa - a wildly misunderstood character. Thank you." - RJ, Orlando Fringe

“I was THRILLED to see such poetic, state-based work; true clown! I was crying, when you spoke about all the women, all the people who came before us..."

-Shanna Leonard, improv performer, clown, and activist, Tucson, AZ

"Thank you for this wonderful show. It felt very personal, thoughtful, inquisitive. Enjoyed the storytelling and the journey. Beautiful presentation ..." - Josh, Orlando Fringe

"I adored your work! Your character shifting is so precise and entertaining!! Brilliant!"🫀🫀🫀"

-Emma Lias, UCSD Theatre & Critical Gender Studies Depts., performer and theatre maker

“My favorite poem ever is ‘Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing’ by Margaret Atwood and this show feels like reading it for the first time.” Xx Jess Ducey, Theatre Producer, NYC

“Lovely. Dark. Deep. Explores the abyss in all of us.” -Giorgio, Orlando Fringe Festival

“Thank you so much for your vulnerability and for your phenomenal artistry.” - Pablo, Orlando Fringe Festival

"I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for this wonderful experience and your constant kindness. Thank you for bringing this show to Orlando Things are not always easy for our LGBTQ+ famiy here, and to have a show that celebrates that community is very special and certainly a change of pace. Thank you so much and I hope to work with you again soon."

-Tyler J. Hampton, Theatre Technician, Orlando

“You took me places I didn’t know existed. Amazing work.” - Veronica, Orlando Fringe Festival

“Karen prowls the stage like she prowls the abyss with a feline energy that activates the theatre in a gloriously uncomfortable manner. The discomfort I felt was an absolutely enjoyable experience as Karen switched between traditionally femme archetypes, challenging their place in our collective psyche. I'm a sucker for mythology, and this show, built around Medusa reclaiming her place in our traditional narrative, scratched that itch.” -Daniel McCoy of “Whisky Flicks Live” & NeoFuturists, Brooklyn

“Fringey buttery orgasm cat.” - audience member, Orlando Fringe

“What an amazing show. I wish it was longer!” -Luca Torrens, actor, Miami, Florida

“Pagan dragging my own anima along” - Clark, Orlando Fringe

"My favorite show at Orlando Fringe. My background is in speech, and I  loved your voice and eyes." -Wayne Dictor, Orlando Fringe

“Your show was lovely, enlightened, fascinating.”- audience member, Orlando Fringe

"Spell binding! Loved it. Love you. - Stevo, Orlando Fringe

"Your gorgeous show that hit every micro-aesthetic reference blessed me!"

-Sadie Lune, performance artist, Berlin

"The ending was beautiful! You're my kind of weirdo." -Genie Cartier, performer, San Francisco

“You were absolutely entrancing as Medusa.” - Kat, Orlando Fringe Festival 

"I felt so inspired and captivated thru your show. As an oddball myself, I've never felt so understood. Thank you for inspiring me as a woman, an artist, and an actor." -Breanna Wells, Orlando Fringe

"Truly remarkable performance." -John, Orlando Fringe

"You have a great range as a performer. I saw a note in program about patriarchy, and was worried it might be like a million things I’ve heard before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the originality and creativity!"

-Alex Warren, performer, Tucson, AZ

"5 Stars: Incredible performance. The range! The creativity! The language!”

“5 Stars: Amazing energy and play!”

-audience members, Tucson Fringe Festival

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