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Karen Finley coming to Steppenwolf’s LookOut series

Written by
Kris Vire

Performance artist Karen Finley is among the artists represented in the next phase of Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut series of multi-genre performance in the new cabaret-style 1700 Theatre.

Finley, a Chicago-area native, gained an unusual amount of mainstream attention, as avant-garde performance artists go, for her role as one of "the NEA Four" in the early 1990s. She'll perform two solo works at Steppenwolf in February: Written in Sand, a spoken-word retrospective of her responses to the AIDS crisis, compiled for the 25th anniversary of Visual AIDS (February 10 and 11), and Unicorn Gratitude Mystery, a four-part riff on the current political climate that our colleagues at Time Out New York recently described as “a rare beast indeed, a new way to consider the BDSM paradigm of the American body politic” (February 17 and 18).

Other highlights of the new slate, covering the final weekend of November through February, include the new-music group eighth blackbird (November 29 and 30); Stay Lit, an evening of short plays by Ike Holter (December 9 and 10); an evening of holiday music with musical director Jaret Landon and cast members of Steppenwolf's mainstage production of The Christians (December 19); a return installment of the storytelling show You're Being Ridiculous, this time with the theme of “Family” (January 7–21). Visit for the complete lineup.

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