photo credit: Hedia Maron
Karinne Keithley Syers is an interdisciplinary artist, editor, and publisher now based in Amnherst, Massachusetts. Her work spans writing, sound, dance, animation, essay, video, game development and projection, as well as cooking dinner, painting the house, and other mild housewifing competencies. In the end of 2020, she started the Pelagic School. She is a current resident playwright of New Dramatists. Her two most recent full-length performance works, A Tunnel Year and Another Tree Dance, were presented by The Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City. Other recent work has been seen at 33 Hawley Street and presented by A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, MA. Her chamber operetta/museum installation Montgomery Park, or Opulence, won a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production in 2011, after its 2010 run at Incubator Arts Project. Her work has also been seen at Danspace Project, Dixon Place, La MaMa E.T.C., Tonic, innumerable installations of Catch, several Little Theaters, The Ohio Theater’s Ice Factory festival, Surf Reality, and Ur, and has been supported by residencies and workshops at the MacDowell Colony, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, St. Ann’s Warehouse’s Puppet Lab, Silo, and Mount Tremper Arts. She has collaborated as a performer with David Neumann, Young Jean Lee, Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson, Chris Yon, Sara Smith, Melanie Rios Glaser, K.J. Holmes, Paul Matteson, and Yoshiko Chuma, as a sound and video designer with Big Dance Theater, Sibyl Kempson, Kate Weare, Ivy Baldwin, Chris Yon, Melanie Rios Glaser, Monica Bill Barnes, as a choreographer with The Civilians, Talking Band, Johanna McKeon, and Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, with whom she has also been a librettist. In 2007, she founded 53rd State Press and edited it for 12 years before passing the torch. She studied the dark (playwriting) arts at Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman, and completed her Ph.D. in English at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2014. She currently teaches writing through The Pelagic School, and has taught writing and performance at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, and Bard Microcollege Holyoke, NYU's Experimental Theater Wing, Movement Research, Whitman College, Colorado College Hollins University, Amherst College, American Dance Festival, Mount Holyoke College, Middlebury College, and the Duncan Centre Conservatory in Prague, and taught or tutored writing and literature at Brooklyn College, The Cooper Union, and New Jersey City University.