“Her messages were universal and she challenged us as a community to learn, understand and be accountable. Her presentation was organized and thoughtful. She also really listened to how I described the school and the student body and understood my goals for the week.”
-Ken Rodriguez, The Urban School of San Francisco
State University, New York, Brockport, NY
“Combining theater, story telling, and audience participation, ‘Stripped and Teased’ bursts the boundaries of ordinary thinking about the subjects of sexuality, gender, and the institutions of work and the family. Weaving her own rich experiences into stories and vignettes, Dark’s characters provoke honest reflection on the part we each play in constructing, as we each enact, relations of inequality in everyday life. Had the message stopped there, I would have concluded that, while insightful and clever entertainment, the evening offered little more than one more bleak commentary on the ills of social relations of contemporary society. As a University professor, I and many of my colleagues all too often take this road, abandoning students to the dead ends of hopelessness and powerlessness. But this performance leads us, I dare say seduces us, down a very different path. These characters do much more than simply speak to our intellects as they tell and instruct. Rather, as they become vulnerable, revealing and transforming themselves in our midst, they show, and invite us to participate with them in, personal transformation and societal change… The magic of this show lies in Dark’s ability to send her pithy insights, enveloped as they are in gentle humor, straight to our hearts, the place where hope resides.”
-Dr. Linda Shaw, Sociology Department, California State University San Marcos
Click below for more audience responses to Kimberly's shows.
“This performance really affected me. I found her to be a brilliant performance artist, very articulate and smart. She was able to reach out to the audience in the most personal way, and I feel she really connects with her audience. I was drawn into her stories as they were teaching me about important gender issues. I walked out of there thinking a lot about her message about personal sovereignty. Her strong performance led to a sense of personal and social responsibility. I still reflect on her stories weeks later. I am very glad I was able to see Kimberly perform, and hope I will have a chance to see her again.”
“Kimberly Dark’s ethno-autobiographical performance work presents an innovative and highly original approach to a host of potentially contentious social issues, which are rarely addressed outside the college classroom. Seamlessly blending comedy and high seriousness, Dark immediately puts her audience ease and thereby engages them in a profound and honest conversation regarding gender and sexuality.”
-Dr. Andrea Herrera, Ethnic Studies Department, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
“…thank you for your wonderful performance work at Southern Illinois University. It was indeed ‘personal, powerful, political.’ I found myself so completely engaged in your work. I was deeply impressed by both your skills as a writer and as a performer. As a writer, you manage to craft intimate and intricate poetic narratives that never settle for the easy answers. You pull listeners in, lead them through fascinating turns and complications, so that they may come to understand the world more fully. I simply love how you work with time, building suspense, earning the right to your claims, seducing listeners to join with you. As a performer, you know what it takes to make a piece work on stage. You bring a compelling presence that is coupled with the familiarity of close friends. Such a stance makes the audience want to be there, to listen to what you have to say, to claim space with you. They feel they will be rewarded by living in your company and, indeed, they are. You take them on such a rich journey, one that has so many rewards. I can’t thank you enough for what you gave to our community and for spending several days with us. I know we are all the richer for the time you gave us.
-Dr. Ron Pelias, Department of Speech Communication, Southern Indiana University Carbondale
“Kimberly Dark, vivacious, witty and insightful, presents narratives that stimulate and educate. As a performance artist myself, I value performers who skillfully integrate scholarship with art thus making the work accessible without watering down the academics embedded in it. What a thrill to share a stage with Kimberly. She rocks!”
-Peterson Toscano, Theatrical Performance Activist, petersontoscano.com
Fresno State University, Fresno, CA
“Kimberly’s performance was not only lively, entertaining and engaging, but informative as well. There is clear evidence that she has carefully constructed a social context for her narratives. The characters not only have a personal story – a lived experience – but the stories are routinely connected to a larger social reality… There is a broader reason I felt so excited about Kimberly’s work: in a time when individualism is so strongly valued in our culture, it’s increasingly difficult to get students to connect to, and understand the importance of a sociological perspective as a lens through which they may see their own experiences. Further, it appears that students now expect to be “entertained” as part of their learning experience. Not only does Kimberly’s work offer a new method of introducing the sociological perspective, it is entertainment in the highest form.”
-Dr. Lynda Dickson. Sociology Department, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
University of Hawaii, Hilo, HI
Check out Kimberly's In Person page for more information on her shows.