"I'm interested in perception - in how the world looks depending on where you stand to see, and on what you're looking for. I'm interested in representation - how the aesthetic portrayal of individuals and groups gives a picture of their "value" in society. I'm interested in language (words, images, movement) as a means to play with and affect perception and representation. With my intricate stories metaphors, I aim to move audiences both intellectually and emotionally - to challenge them to think and feel about the complex ways in which we are implicated in each other's stories, and in the larger society."
"Eye of the Garden," Art on the Beach, New York
A native of the French Louisiana countryside with a doctorate in Performance Studies from NYU, Lenora Champagne thrives on urban life but more frequently writes about the dramas of women and men who live in a more direct relationship to nature. She came to New York to be a painter, but found her voice in performance. Champagne, who often collaborates with sculptors, composers and media artists, has been making work as a performance artist, playwright, and director since 1981. December 2011 marks the thirtieth anniversary of her work as a performance and theatre artist.
Champagne's awards for her work include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts in Performance Art and Playwriting. With composer Daniel Levy, she received a Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for The Singing: a cyberspace opera. She has received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (in solo performance, directing, and an artist's residency in Canada), commissions and project support from the New York State Council on the Arts, residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and support from the DCA and the Peg Santvoord, Jerome, Puffin and Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundations and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art. Her work has been commissioned by Dance Theatre Workshop and Creative Time, among others. She is a member of PEN, an alumna of New Dramatists and was a HARP artist at HERE Arts Center, where she developed TRACES/fades, an intergenerational performance with music and video that is a meditation on memory, loss and our national inability to remember history.
Champagne's publications include Out from Under: Texts by Women Performance Artists and performance texts, plays and essays published by Smith & Krauss and in Plays and Playwrights 2009, Performing Arts Journal, Performance Research, Women and Performance Journal, Chain and The Iowa Review. She is Professor of Theatre and Performance at Purchase College, SUNY.
Current and Recent Work