Jerk - From a novel by Dennis Cooper

Premiére date25 Apr. 2009
Produced byDe l’Autre Côté du Miroir, Gisèle Vienne
CoproducersLe Quartz - Scène Nationale de Brest, Centre Chorégraphique National de Franche-Comté à Belfort, Centro Parraga
In collaboration withLe Quartz - Scène Nationale de Brest
Based onJerk by Dennis Cooper
ExpressionsPuppetry, Theatre, Monologue
Duration40 minutes
WebsiteGISELE VIENNE, Black Box Teater

About Jerk

Jerk (2009) was a performing arts production by Gisèle Vienne (France), Dennis Cooper (USA) and Jonathan Capdeville (France). It builds on a true story about the serial killer Dean Corll who during the 1970es murdered approximately 20 young boys in Texas assisted by the two teenagers David Brooks and Wayne Henley. In the performance we meet David Brooks, who is serving a life-time sentence in prison.

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More about Jerk

In Jerk the crimes are reconstructed in a macabre puppetry show. The performance is made in close cooperation with actor Jonathan Capdevielle. He interprets all of the characters in the play aided by five handheld puppets.

Due to the violent and humorous text the performance has an underlying cruel and disturbing nature. The use of handheld puppets is a traditional way to act out violent, crude sequences, and in Jerk these elements are channelled through the same aesthetic.

French Gisèle Vienne studied puppetry and is a choreographer, director and actress. With Dennis Cooper she has directed a series of productions, among them the prize-awarded Jerk. American Dennis Cooper is a poet and art critic, known for his many books.

Jerk merges three plays that were produced in collaboration with Vienne and Cooper: I Apologize (2004), Une belle enfant blonde (2005) and Kindertotenlieder (2007). In these three plays, the links between fantasy and reality are being constantly probed, thereby altering our perception of reality. The more realistic Jerk puts forth a consistent linear narrative, generating the credibility that undeniably stems from this form. And it is this undeniability that is re-examined by way of different formal experiences.

With her brand of controversial performing arts Gisèle Vienne examines the dark sides of the humans and the destructive consequences crossing the border between imagination and reality can have for the individual.

In 2007 Vienne visited BIT Teatergarasjen with the performance Kindertotenlieder.

Jerk was supported by: Ménagerie de Verre through offering a studio lab for the project.


BIT Teatergarasjen, spring program 2009. 05.08.2010: -arkiv

Black Box Teater Oslo,, 30.08.2010,