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23 Apr 2011

The Chocolate Factory presents Suzanne Bocanegra: When a Priest Marries a Witch

photo by the artist

When a Priest Marries a Witch
The Chocolate Factory


Dates: April 28 - 30, 2011 Showtimes: 8pm Tickets: $15.00

Brian Rogers

The Chocolate Factory
5-49 49th Avenue
Long Island City, New York, 11101

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The Chocolate Factory is pleased to present the first theatrical run of visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra's performance:

When a Priest Marries a Witch

at The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City, Queens, April 28 – 30 at 8pm.

A story about a priest, an artist, and a young girl in Pasadena, Texas; part artist talk, part performance, part cultural history, part sound installation. Joined by actor Paul Lazar, long associated with New York's legendary Wooster Group and the filmmaker Jonathan Demme, together (sort of) they tell a tale incorporating Elvis, abstract expressionism, the Pope, astronauts, the Singing Nun and obviously, a witch.

When a Priest Maries a Witch was commissioned as an artist talk by Museum of Modern Art's film curator Laurence Kardish and was first performed at MoMA in June 2010. Uninspired by the traditional format of the artist lecture, Bocanegra opted to collaborate with a range of downtown theater artists to help her tell the story of how she became an artist, weaving together true tales of her upbringing in blue-collar Pasadena, Texas, and the role that the Catholic Church played in exposing her to art as a young girl. An actor (Paul Lazar), a lighting designer (Laura Mroczkowski), a sound designer (Jody Elff), and a composer (David Lang) help her tell this story.

Since premiering at MoMA, When a Priest Maries a Witch has been presented at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH, and at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, NY, as part of I Write the Songs - a major exhibition of Bocanegra's work organized by the Tang Museum, which will travel to SITE Santa Fe in the Summer of 2011.

The Los Angeles Times has said of Bocanegra's work that it is 'vaporously subtle and emotionally powerful – the best kind of artistic effect.' Working in a range of formats, including drawing, sculpture, video and sound, Bocanegra's projects often translate information from one discipline to another, frequently resulting in large-scale performance and collaborations. 2011 will see the publication of a monograph about Bocanegra, published by the Tang Museum, and including essays on her work by Lisa Corrin, Director of the Williams College Museum of Art; Brett Littman, Executive Director of the Drawing Center; Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film and Media at MoMA; Annie B. Parson, choreographer and co-founder of Big Dance Theater, and Mac Wellman, playwright. Bocanegra's work has been seen in exhibitions at the Serpentine, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Hayward Gallery in London, as well as venues nationally including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. She has presented theatrical, video and film work at the Bang on a Can Festival, The New Haven Festival of Art and Ideas, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Wordless Music Series in New York. Bocanegra received her BFA from the University of Texas, Austin and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

The Obie Award-winning Chocolate Factory is a 5000 square foot multi-arts facility located in Long Island City, Queens. The theater supports the creation of new work in a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, multimedia and the visual arts. The work of the Factory's founding artists emphasizes multi-disciplinary collaboration - combining movement, music, video and text to devise a means of storytelling that is immediate, collage-like, highly visual, and dependent on new technologies. The creation of new work by our founding artists was the founding mission of theater et al (1999-2004) and is The Chocolate Factory's primary program activity.

The Chocolate Factory is located at 5-49 49th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, NY. For tickets and further information please visit or call (718) 482-7069.

For more information about Suzanne Bocanegra please visit