Evergreen Cemetery Lantern Tour in Pine Plains, October 22, 2018 Photo: Robert Lyons

Evergreen Cemetary Lantern Tour

In July 2016, I was in Pisciotta, Italy, directing Purchase College students in Luigi Chiarelli's The Mask and the Face. They performed in Italian!

Mask and the Face

Mask and the Face

The Mask and the Face, by Luigi Chiarelli, Pisciotta, Italy (Purchase College), 2016


I did a staged reading of my work-in-progress, I.C./I See, which become Necessary Mountain, in October 2015 at Dixon Place.

Below are photos from the work-in-progress staged reading/rehearsals of I.C./I See, October 2015
Cast:  Susan Hyon as Umiko Fujiwara, Rajika Puri as Kim Khan, with Hannah Mitchell and Rebecca Robertson.
Photos:  Marianne Wafer


Staying Afloat, by Lenora Champagne, New Georges, 2009; Dixon Place, Ohio Theatre, 2010

photo from Staying Afloat

In July 2010 I directed my play, Staying Afloat, developed at Dixon Place and through workshops and residences with New Georges and Voice and Vision, at the Ice Factory Festival at the Ohio Theatre. In Staying Afloat, two women and a polar bear find themselves adrift on a melting ice floe sometime in the near future. They strive to survive and make a community in the face of birth, death, and climate change.

photo from Staying Afloat

"...there is real wisdom in this play, and immense imagination and stagecraft."
--Martin Denton

"Lenora Champagne's Staying Afloat...has the makings of Waiting for Godot-like existential story...the set effectively evokes isolation and longing."
--Chris Kompanek, On the Culture Front, Huffington Post

TRACES/fades, by Lenora Champagne, Here Arts Center, 3LD and Ohio Theatre, 2006 - 2008

photo from TRACES/fades

TRACES/fades, An intergenerational performance with music and video that is a meditation on memory, loss and our national inability to remember history.

"Smart, witty, fun...Three generations of women discuss their histories, their problems and desires set against the backdrop of loss and decay....a nursing home...doubles as a surreal memory-cabaret... Images fade in and out of focus...a bodiless hand writes and unwrites names, poetry. Handwriting degenerates and disappears as an outright example of the language that constitutes us...Consciousness disappears; writing (performance?) haunts."
--Obscene Jester

"Most of the story unfolds in the nursing home where Ann now lives; Champagne and her collaborators capture the sad and vaguely surreal ambience of that place with uncanny and affecting fidelity....The production is stunning, and blessed with a wondrous cast."
--Martin Denton,

TRACES/fades is published in Plays and Playwrights 2009.

photo from TRACES/fades  photo from TRACES/fades

Traces/fades bears some relationship to my previous work, Eye of the Garden, in which the world of adolescent girls within convent walls was explored on a landfill bounded by the Hudson River. Working in collaboration with the performers and with sculptor Claudia Fitch and composer Glen Velez on this commissioned project for Creative Time’s final “Art on the Beach” was a rich experience that resonated with spectators, evoking a lost time, queer obsessions, and silent mysteries.

Much of my work retains elements of autobiography, reflecting my belief that the strongest work implicates people (the performer as well as the audience) in addition to moving them intellectually, emotionally, or aesthetically. I ground my work in the personal and particular in order to expansively critique or reflect upon the wider world.

For example, in my solo, Mother’s Little Helper, I used my mother’s fifties-era church-sponsored guide to “the facts of life” to ironically comment on the encroachment of the religious right into contemporary politics and social policy. In a performance punctuated by Cajun stories, young girls’ word and clapping games, and sweet potatoes, I explored the scary place girls and women currently find themselves in.


Inflation, or The Vigorous Style of the Moderns, by

House of Jones
House of Jones, Suzan Lori-Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks (week 50, 365 Days/365 Plays), The Public Theatre & Here Arts Center, 2007

Action in Inaction and House of Jones, by Suzan-Lori Parks, Purchase College Humanities Theatre, 2006

Scenes from plays by Eduardo de Filippo and Luigi Pirandello  Pisciotta, Italy (SUNY/Purchase), 2002

Monologues from Female Parts, by Franca Rame Pisciotta, Italy (SUNY/Purchase), 2000

PRINCIPIA, by Sung Rno New York Theatre Workshop, 1996

GRAVITY FALLS FROM TREES, by Sung Rno Dance Theatre Workshop, 1994

R.A.W.(‘Cause I’m a Woman), by Diana Son   The Public Theatre, TWEED New Works, 1993

VINEGAR TOM, by Caryl Churchill Classic Stage Company, 1991

ISABELLA DREAMS THE NEW WORLD by Lenora Champagne Ohio Theatre, 1990

YESTERDAY’S PEOPLE, by Chris Cerasso Lincoln Center Institute, 1989

COYOTE UGLY, by Lynn Siefert New York Theatre Workshop, 1987

Coyote Ugly

YERMA, by Garcia-Lorca Trinity College, 1987

Big House, Little House
Big House, Little House, photo by Vivian Selbo

BIG HOUSE/LITTLE HOUSE, by Kevin Duffy   Trinity College, 1987

SPRING AWAKENING, by Frank Wedekind Trinity College, 1986

FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, by Irene Fornes Trinity College, 1986

Fefu and Her Friends

HAMLETMACHINE, by Heiner Muller Trinity College, 1985


PRISONERS OF THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM by Michael Kirby (co-director) LaMama, 1982



L'heure bleu, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH, August, 2007

La Recherche du Pain Perdu, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY November, 2006

Love, Death, Pizza & Coffee, Pisciotta, Italy (Purchase College), 2007

Scenes & Songs by Italian Futurists, Pirandello, and Viviani

Hyeres en Passant (scenes by students) Hyeres, France (Purchase College), 2004

Memoirs of a Cajun American Princess Purchase College, SUNY, 2004

FROM THE HEART (created with participants)  Sanctuary for Families/DTW Public Imaginations, 1999

SANCTUARY (created with participants) Sanctuary for Families/DTW Public Imaginations, 1998

WAVES (created with the ensemble) Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1995

PERSISTENCE OF VISION (with E. Iverson) Williams College, 1994

NAKED WITH STEAK KNIVES & DOGS (ensm) Movement Research at Judson Church, 1993

WATER TABLE FIRE TIME (with ensemble)   Maryland Art Place (Baltimore), 1992

HAUNTED HOUSES (with ensemble) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), 1990

DR. CHARCOT’S HYSTERIA SHOWS Ohio Theatre, Oberlin College,   (with Judy Dworin, Dianne Hunter)  Real Art Ways (CT), Trinity College, 1988-89

EYE OF THE GARDEN Creative Time’s Art on the Beach, 1985

AS READY, APART FROM HERSELF Franklin Furnace , 1986

FROM THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT Performance Space 122, 1984

DESERT PLAY, adapt., Marilyn Hacker poems Structuralist Workshop, NYU, 1976

OLD LOVE, adapt., Ilse Aichinger story Structuralist Workshop, NYU, 1976


BOY, by Diana Son New Dramatists, 1994

THE OBJECT OF YOUR DESIRE, Maryrose Wood Women’s Project, 1994

NOVELL-AAH!, by Eugenie Chan, DREAM CATCHER, by Dawn Saito, R.A.W. (‘Cause I’m a Woman*), by Diana Son The Public Theatre, 1993

TALES FROM THE TIME OF THE PLAGUE, by Lynne Alvarez Classic Stage Co. , 1992

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD, by Rosalyn Drexler  Classic Stage Co., 1991

THE ODD WOMEN, by Lonnie Carter Classic Stage Co., 1990

PORTRAIT OF DORA, by Helene Cixous Ubu Rep, 1983


THE TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY, Liz LeCompte, director The Wooster Group, 1988

WAITING FOR GODOT, Tony Taccone, director Berkeley Rep, 1989