EXPERIMENT I is an evening of unexpected readings and performance, incorporating dance, skateboarding, comedy and literature intended to inspire new thoughts, humors and daredevilry. Experiment I features contributions from the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, Tara Jepsen of Pave the Way Skateboards, Lizzy Cooperman, and Wendy C. Ortiz. Organized by Michelle Tea.
Michelle Tea is the author of eleven books, including the cult classic Valencia, the genre-breaking Black Wave, and the recent Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self Through the Wisdom of the Cards. Tea is the editor of the Sister Spit imprint on City Lights and the Amethyst Editions imprint on Feminist Press. She is the founder of the long-running Sister Spit international performance tour, and RADAR Productions, a queer, literary non-profit based in San Francisco. An essay collection, Against Memoir, is forthcoming from Feminist Press, and the final volume in her young adult mermaid trilogy, Castle on the River Vistula, is forthcoming from McSweeneys.
The Brontez Purnell Dance Company has been presenting experimental dance and movement theatre works since 2010, with a radically open understanding of the forms, bodies, and idioms of dance. Brontez Purnell, author of the cult zine Fag School and frontman for his band The Younger Lovers, along with founding company member Sophia Wang, build works that combine punk rock subversion, free jazz improvisation, and a company comprised of movers and artists of all disciplines.
Tara Jepsen + Miriam Klein Stahl = Pave the Way Skateboards Tara Jepsen is a writer, skateboarder, comic, and actor living in Los Angeles, California. Her novel, Like a Dog, is forthcoming from the Sister Spit imprint of City Lights Publishers. Her work has been published in the Believer, xojane.com, and SF Weekly, among others. Tara has toured and performed extensively with seminal queer cabaret Sister Spit since 1997, and for over ten years has co-hosted the legendary San Francisco open mic K’vetsh with Kirk Read.
Miriam Klein Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator, activist and the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide. Miriam follows a tradition of making socially relevant work, creating portraits of political activists, misfits, radicals and radical movements.Her current project is creating a queer themed skateboard company, Pave the Way with genius comedian and skateboarder Tara Jepsen. She lives in Berkeley, California with her wife, artist Lena Wolff, daughter Hazel, and their dog Lenny.
Lizzy Cooperman is stand-up comedian featured on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and at such festivals as Just for Laughs, Bentzen Ball, Red Clay Comedy Festival, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, and the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. She has previously written for television shows including Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show, Comedy Central’s Not Safe with Nikki Glaser, The Soup, The Dish, and a show that only aired in the Ukraine and Germany called Naked and Funny. She’s appeared on MTV, E!, and The Style Network, and will be co-hosting the upcoming series That Detox Life.
Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir, Hollywood Notebook, and the dreamoir Bruja. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog, as well as The New York Times, Joyland, and a year-long series for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Wendy is a practicing psychotherapist in Los Angeles.