Ethyl

Ethyl Eichelberger (1945-1990)

Who is Ethyl Eichelberger?
A legendary downtown performer, Ethyl Eichelberger’s high octane performances earned him critical acclaim, a loyal audience following, and a mythic reputation. An accomplished musician and classically trained actor, Ethyl wrote, produced, and performed over thirty solo and group performance works that explored the struggles of strong women who survive in history, literature and myth from Klytemnestra to Lucrezia Borgia. Understanding that it is all drag, he also wrote a series of male roles for himself including Leer and Rip Van Winkle. His hilarious plays with rollicking musical numbers featured a rotating cast of downtown luminaries and were staged in venues all over the East Village and toured worldwide. Ethyl acted for The Ridiculous Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, and other regional theater companies, and enjoyed a commercial career on Broadway, in television, and in film. Ethyl was an acrobat, ate fire, rode a unicycle, played the accordion (among other instruments), designed sets, and made wigs and films.

What is The Ethyl Eichelberger Award?
The Ethyl Eichelberger Award is a commissioning award created by Performance Space 122 in 2005 and made possible with the generous support of the Gesso Foundation. The Ethyl Eichelberger Award is given to an artist or group that exemplifies Ethyl’s larger-than-life style and generosity of spirit; who embodies Ethyl’s multi-talented artistic virtuosity, bridging worlds and vitalizing those around them. Recipients include Taylor Mac (2005), Julie Atlas Muz (2006), Justin Bond (2007), Jennifer Miller (2008), Vaginal Davis (2009), John Kelly (2010),  Peggy Shaw (2011), Mike Iveson (2014), Dane Terry (2016).

Why is The Ethyl Eichelberger Award at PS122?
Ethyl premiered and performed much of his work here at PS 122. His spirit and artistic adventurousness are intrinsic components of what came to be viewed as the PS 122 aesthetic. Some claim the space is gently haunted by his spirit. In addition to the award, the dressing room downstairs is named in his honor.

“I do want to leave a legacy. Of whatever, for anyone who’d be interested… One would hate to think that one has passed through this world and left nothing. It’s not even so much leaving something, it’s having done something to better the world. I hope I’ve opened a lot of doors.”
– Ethyl Eichelberger

“Everyone should have the chance to show off.”
– Ethyl Eichelberger

Videos Courtesy of Character Generators and Nelson Sullivan.

EthylEthyl
EthylEthyl
Ethyl
Ethyl

The Complete Plays of Ethyl Eichelberger

Phedre (1972), Nefert-iti (1976), Auntie Belle Emme (1979), Medea (1980), Carlotta, Empress of Mexico (1980),
Minnie the Maid (1981 Villager Award), Shi Liu (1981), Jocasta or Boy Crazy (1982), Catherine was Great (1982), A Virgin and A Queen (1982), Lucrezia Borgia (1982 Obie Award), Marie Antoinette (1983), Lola Montez (1982), Toulouse Women or Moulin Rage (1984), Ruth Ruth (1984), Souled Out or Dr. Mary Faustus (1984), Klytemnestra or The Nightingale of Argos (1985), Mrs. Wiggs in the Cabbage Patch (1985), Hamlette (1985), Medusa (1985), Leer (1985), Fowl Ball (1985), Casanova (1985), Rip Van Winkle (1986), Saint Joan (1987), The Tempest of Chim-Lee (1987), The Lincolns (1988), Ariadne Obnoxious (1988), Herd of Buffalo (1989), Dilbert Dingle Dong, The Doomed or A Nest Full of Ninnies (1989), Das Vedanya Mama (1990).

Ethyl often performed this song as an encore. It was his theme song.

We Are Women Who Survive

Song and lyrics by Ethyl Eichelberger

We are women who survive; our world is hard.
We are women who survive; our world is mean.
We are women who survive; scratch us, we bleed.
We are women who survive, but we will live to fight another day.

The men around us stumble forward.
When they fall we prop them up.
We are there when we are needed to fortify.
And why is that, honey? Why is it?

Cause we are…

We are women who survive; our world is hard.
We are women who survive; our world is mean.
We are women who survive; scratch us, we bleed.
We are women who survive, but we will live to fight another day.

When we enter a dark chamber, we open the window and we say,
“We are looking for light; we are looking for love.”
In the midst of the darkest shadows,
We will strive to find a better way.

We are women who survive; our world is hard.
We are women who survive; our world is mean.
We are women who survive; scratch us, we bleed.
We are women who survive, but we will live to fight,
fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight,
fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight,
fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight,
another day.

 

  • Next week: Join us for a Long Table on Shared Value + Dane Terry's #RAMP2016 showing: https://t.co/fE3wtXmo0Z

  • Did you miss the sold-out Jan run? Jillian Peña's Panopticon is in @LMCC's #R2R16 this weekend! https://t.co/oHYc5tZri3

  • And don't miss the feature on the inside! Artist journal in Theater Magazine from @PS122's… https://t.co/fcE2Ciygiy

  • Starting off the day with a special delivery from Theater Magazine. So proud @helloandrewjs! https://t.co/xzEDwuU6KM

  • Let's learn from each other & discuss how cultural orgs + business create shared value! Mon 6/27 at @OPERAAmerica! https://t.co/nBReHkmSfy

  • Very excited for #COIL16 Kaneza Schaal's GO FORTH in @LMCC's #R2R16 this weekend! Check it: https://t.co/GvmEj4lyRY

  • How can cultural orgs & businesses create shared value? Join @PS122 + @GVCChamber on 6/27: https://t.co/EVhuiOsPbT #MakingItInNYC

  • #generativecity: How can cultural orgs & businesses create shared value? Join @PS122 + @GVCChamber on 6/27: https://t.co/EVhuiOsPbT

  • @jefflunden Enjoyed your @WNYC piece this AM! We're invested in this convo & the ideas around #sharedvalue bet community, biz + artists.

  • RT @EmilyJCatalyst: generative cities are desegregated cities. https://t.co/NUaC8J8VvH @lostnotebook @PS122 @Rasuisms

  • This @samsung presentation on #VR at #nside = AWESOME.

  • Lauren Slone's work-in-progress showings take place @milesxcity tonight & tomorrow as part of… https://t.co/V3O6MhMmjs

  • Super excited to get free coffee from the new @BklynRoasting at 67 West! #greenpoint #coffeevibez https://t.co/eiXXNPNr2I

  • RT @lostnotebook: @ps122, @rasuisms, @emilyjcatalyst & Shaun, still thinking about generative cities & role of “collision density”....https…

  • Today is the last day for @ps122's Mobile Walking Tour. Don't miss out on celebrating #LESmonth one last time! https://t.co/6sXF53ogxE

  • RT @mariscalf: Museums should enhace social interactions with their local communities, otherwise we are just gentrifiers @newmuseum @ps122…

  • RT @lauraknicoll: @lostnotebook @PS122 yes + artists at the decision making table + an underlying belief that all humans are creative + bas…

  • How do we embed a responsibility in the institution that is not funding directed? #generativecity

  • We have to put our hearts into a change but we are not going to live to see it #generativecity

  • Switch the conversations away from the towers and back to the street. #generativecity

MENU
ps122-logo-small-2