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Are you Complicit? Griselda wants to know...

"The Camp "
by Griselda Gambaro

Directed by Kristin Heckler; Dramaturgy by Melody Brooks

Thursday, September 21 , 2017, 7:00pm

On Her Shoulders is pleased to present a staged reading of THE CAMP by Griselda Gambaro, directed by Kristin Heckler on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Doors open at 6:45pm for a prompt start at 7:00pm with The Play in Context Introduction by Melody Brooks, who situates the script in its historical time and place. Admission is by Donation. Running time, including a post-performance Q&A is approximately 100 minutes. The performance is at The New School, Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, New York, NY. R.S.V.P. to

GRISELDA GAMBARO was born in Buenos Aires in 1928 into a family of second-generation Italian immigrants. Coming from a background of limited economic means, Gambaro did not receive a strong formal education. She taught herself about drama and literature by going to the public library and immersing herself in the works of dramatists such as Eugene O'Neill, Anton Chekhov, and Luigi Pirandello. After finishing high school in 1943, she began working in a publishing company. She later moved into business and accounting and remained there until she married sculptor Juan Carlos. In the early 1960s, she became involved with the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, an avant-garde foundation formed in Buenos Aires in 1958 that combined sociological studies with the fine arts until it was forced to close in 1971 due to the repressive political climate. The Instituto achieved a name for itself as a hotbed of groundbreaking experimental art, music and theatre, and it was at the Instituto’s theatre that Gambaro put on a series of four plays responsible for her international success: Las paredes (The Walls) (1964), El desatino (The Blunder) (1965), Los siameses (The Siamese Twins) (1967) and El campo (The Camp) (1971). Gambaro was forced into exile in 1977 when the novel she had just published, Ganarse la muerte (Conquering Death), was banned. In exile in Barcelona, she wrote and published Dios no nos quiere contentos (God Doesn’t Want Us Happy). Gambaro’s theatre is concerned with the abuse of authority in human relationships. Rather than depicting realistic situations her writing evokes the grotesque where characters often find themselves in an absurd, yet nightmarish predicament and through her inventive black comedy, Gambaro’s audience consistently becomes an unwitting participant in the bullying, cruelty, torture and violence which takes place on stage. Her work recalls European traditions, such as the Absurd and Theatre of Cruelty but her writing firmly asserts a specifically Argentine identity which derives from the rich theatrical tradition of Buenos Ares' el grotesco criollo in the early 20th Century.

KRISTIN HECKLER (Director) is an NYC based director and producer. In addition to freelance work, Kristin runs her theatre company, Recognize Theatre, which is dedicated to writing and producing plays analyzing gender and sexuality. In 2015, members of Recognize Theatre adapted the story of the Duke University "Porn Star" into a theatrical piece, Exposed, which was produced Off-Off Broadway. Other favorite directing projects include Or, (New School Master’s Thesis), Paraphilia: Everyone Has A Sexual Disorder (FringeNYC/Recognize), How I Learned to Drive (Recognize Theatre), and Stop Kiss (Philadelphia Fringe Festival). Her directing roots stem from Montgomery Theater in Souderton, PA where she assistant directed pieces such as Becky Shaw. Kristin Heckler grew up in Sellersville, PA and graduated from Duke University with BA’s in Women's Studies and Spanish. She graduated from the New School for Drama in 2016 with an MFA in Theatre Directing.

MELODY BROOKS (Dramaturg) is an award-winning producer and director working in NYC since 1983. In 1991 she founded New Perspectives Theatre Company and serves as Artistic Director and CEO. Its mission and goals are a result of her long experience working in Off- and Off-Off Broadway. Brooks leads NPTC's Women’s Work Project, which develops short and full-length plays by 12-16 members per year, and produces ON HER SHOULDERS, serving also as a regular Director/Dramaturg for the program. She has developed and directed numerous award-winning and acclaimed original and classic plays for NPTC. Other developmental directing credits include works for the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, the Queer at HERE Festival, Edinburgh International Fringe Festival and NJ Rep(upcoming). She received The Spirit of Hope Award from Speranza Theatre Company in 2015 for her 25-year support and development of women theatre artists. Brooks currently serves on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women and is Co-Chair of their 2017 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award. She was an Asst. Professor of Theatre at LIU/Brooklyn from 1999-2009. Brooks will be directing the 17th Century The House of Desires by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz for the BFA program at the New School for Drama this fall.


ON HER SHOULDERS was founded in 2013 to present rehearsed, staged readings of plays by women from across the spectrum of time, with contemporary dramaturgs contextualizing them for modern audiences. The program was incorporated into New Perspectives' Women's Work Project in 2014 and continues to work to make it impossible for producers and theatre companies to deny or ignore the 1,000-year history and value of women's contribution to the theatrical canon. To date the program has presented 39 plays by 30 writers from the years 1668 to 1970.  OHS is produced by Melissa Attebery and Melody Brooks. Kristin Heckler is Associate Producer.

SCHOOL FOR DRAMA AT THE NEW SCHOOL: The creative home for the future of performing arts. Agile. Engaged. Innovative. Multi-disciplinary. The New School for Drama is home to a dynamic group of young directors, writers, actors, creative technologists, and award-winning faculty. With a core belief in rigorous creativity and collaborative learning, our programs embrace civic awareness across performance disciplines to create work imbued with professionalism, imagination and social context. For more information, please visit


The Play in Context, the dramaturgical and scholarly presentation component to the program, is sponsored in part by the League of Professional Theatre Women, a non-profit organization promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in theatre since 1982.



This program is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature