on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.
In this podcast, Gabriele Schafer and Nick Fracaro tell the story of their time in the “tipi on the hill” by way of their Jean-Genet-inspired, radical alternative theater work leading up to it, their 40+ year creative partnership, and their reflections on a life lived together at the intersection of art, culture, politics, and spirituality.
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This website is an ongoing project where we catalogue Thieves Theatre’s history — from its inception in Chicago in 1981 to its reimagining into New-York-based International Culture Lab in 2007.
When New York University’s Fales Library offered to archive Thieves’ documentation, we were motivated to create our own digital archive.
A primary focus will be on our paratheatrical production known as The Hill, which spanned from 1990 to 1993: Nick and Gabriele had erected a replica of a Lakota tipi in a Manhattan shantytown (known as The Hill) to commemorate the centenary of the Wounded Knee Massacre and then lived in it for nearly three years.
Gabriele’s journal from that period was published by Autonomedia in October 2021. Nick’s ongoing serialized autofiction about the same events is published here.
“Rather than provide an overarching statement on homelessness, [The Hill] lets the author’s experiences speak for themselves—a powerful statement that doesn’t force an agenda. From Juan, a pushover crack addict, to Mr. Lee, who diligently tends to his own shack, the individuals are as unique as they are tragic… the material forms a highly readable firsthand account that is neither overly sentimental nor dismissive. A personal, informative portrayal of a unique New York community.”
– Kirkus Reviews