“Joseph Knowles” was a theatrical piece I concocted for the Oberlin Dance Collective, back in 1977, back in San Francisco. It was based on the story of Knowles, who stripped naked and entered the Maine woods one summer day in 1913, vowing to return after two months, fully dressed and in perfect health. His progress was covered by the papers; he had to break game laws to survive; and he worked the vaudeville circuit after he emerged, dressed in his caveman get-up. I was intrigued by the many social complexities simmering under his stunt, and put together an ensemble piece using press clippings, music, a gorilla costume, and much more. Here are a couple of pages from my notebooks:
The performers wore t-shirts, each with a picture of Knowles.
And a couple of reviews; first from Dick Moore, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 3/10/77:
And next from Janice Ross, Artweek, 3/12/77: