A semi-autobiographical, darkly comic solo play with original songs (sung by a non-singer) that lovingly explores the demons haunting a person struggling with mental illness. Through irreverent humor, it exposes the taboo underbelly of a suburban family rife with intergenerational madness, shining a light on the pain hidden within a person wrestling with a troubled mind. The narrative arc tells the story of a bipolar suburban Mom’s emotional affair with her contractor, breast cancer diagnosis and descent into madness – weaving songs, videos, and live stage action together into an electric whole. This work is Katzberg's contribution to a larger societal conversation about the consequences of unhealed trauma.
Work-in-progress performed at Wild Project as inaugural Artist-in-Residence, April 2022
Online reading at La MaMa as part of Experiments Play Reading Series, January 2022
Directed by Raquel Cion
Videos by Roque Nonini
Set by Luke Miller
Lighting Design by Tony Mulanix
Dad in a Box
A prestigious improv comedy workshop seems like an ideal career boost for Katzberg, until she finds her fervid imagination hamstrung by generic critiques. "...Suicidal girl on a date? I'm not sure it's a network thing.” But the real improvisation starts when Katzberg’s emotionally distant father dies, paralyzing her psyche and forcing her to confront her California-cool brother and erratic prodigal sister. Katzberg, playing a plethora of characters, struggles to become more real onstage, and both be truthful to her father and express her inexplicable love for him.
Performed at Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, Wild Project
Directed by Raquel Cion, Lighting Design by Derek Wright, Set Design by Kerry Chipman, Video Design by Jacqueline Reed, Stage Managed by Tzipora Reman.
Photo: Marina Zamalin
A zoned-out-suicide-prevention-hotline operator and exotic-dancer-turned-pet-detective embarks on a ridiculous caper in this campy, noir mash-up of Law & Order and Charles Busch, featuring Nora Woolley, Kim Katzberg and plenty of pets.
Like Katzberg’s past work, STRAYS is inspired by autobiography, but is heavily fictionalized with larger than life characterizations and tons of meta-theatrical hijinks. The twisted, surprising story follows Terry, a zoned-out suicide prevention hotline operator, ex-exotic dancer and accidental pet detective whose attempts to locate a missing cat result in her revisiting a life she swore she left behind.
STRAYS is a solo show with two actors.
Performed at The Brick (Artist-In-Residence)
Featuring Nora Woolley and Kim Katzberg. Directed by Raquel Cion, Lighting design by Derek Wright, Set Design by Kerry Chipman, Artwork and Animation by Maia Cruz Palileo, Stage Managed by Laurel Detkin.
In DARKLING, it’s 1987, and thirteen-year-old Trinity is obsessed with three things: Goth figurines, losing her virginity and being just like her troubled older sister. When her sister commits a daring escape from a boarding school for wayward girls, Trinity must decide whether to follow her into fantasy and madness, or remain in the affluent suburban world that drained her mother’s soul. Could there be another choice? A one-girl show about growing up without giving up.
Performed at IRT Theater (Artist-In-Residence)
Directed by Raquel Cion. Lighting and Set Design by Josh Iacovelli. Stage Manager, Laurel Detkin. Technical Engineering by Tei Blow, Property Design by Maia Cruz Palileo.
Penetrating the Space
Kim Katzberg stretches the usual boundaries of one-woman shows with PENETRATING THE SPACE, a tragicomic send-up of every confessional solo show you’ve ever hated — where female performers re-objectify themselves by looking for sympathy in talking about abuse. Jinny Jikkyl is an unhinged bisexual performance artist and incest survivor who mistakenly believes that theatricalizing her psychological fragmentation and integration in front of an audience will lead to mainstream acceptance in the acting industry and a big-time agent. PENETRATING THE SPACE upends the archetype of the damaged girl putting herself in front of an audience and subverts the form of traditional theater through penetrating the space with video, sculpture, animation and performance art.
Performed at HERE Arts Center
Directed by John Harlacher. Set and lighting design by Josh Iacovelli. Production management by C. J. Thom. Original animation and sculpture by Maia Cruz Palileo.
Photo: Marina Zamalin