La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club

66 East 4th Street
(btw Bowery & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Office: M–F 11a–6p
Box Office: M–Su 12–6p

Coffeehouse Chronicles

Tim Cusack and Trav S.D.

January 19, 2013 at 3pm

January 19, 2013 at 3pm

Tim Cusack, co-founder of Theatre Askew since 2004 and Trav S.D., performer, writer and producer


Tim Cusack is an actor/director/dancer/writer living in New York City. In 1990, upon graduating from NYU/TSOA with a BFA in Drama, he helped found RAKKA-THAMM!!! Theater Company with four fellow alumni (including Christopher Carter Sanderson). In 1992, he became the managing director of the company, and in 1993, he assumed the duties of artistic director. As a director for the company, he presented productions of Shepard’s Seduced, Euripides’ The Bacchae (in a site-specific production on the Christopher Street pier), Stoppard’s Rosencranz and Guildenstern…, and Wilde’s Salome, as well as plays by David Greenspan and Julie Bovasso. In 1993, he appeared in the lead role in the short film “My Polish Waiter,” directed by Gary Terracino, which played in such prestigious international festivals as the Sundance Film Festival and New Directors/New Films at the Museum of Modern Art. Strand Releasing later distributed it on the video compilation Boys in Love.

In 1997, he began an association with Todo con Nada that continued for several years. At Nada he appeared in numerous productions for Ian Hill including 10 Nights in a Bar-Room and Egyptology. In 1999 he directed, designed, and acted in What Did He See? for Nada’s ForemanFest, and in 2000, he curated its Ridicufest, which included his site-specific production of Charles Ludlam’s Der Ring Gott Farblonjet, at the Show World porn palace, as well as productions of plays by Jack Smith, Ethyl Eichelberger, Ronald Tavel and Charles Busch. In tandem with the festival he also organized a symposium at NYU, which explored the legacy of the Ridiculous aesthetic. His solo show Stunt Man, created in collaboration with Rachel Kranz and Sarah Lambert originally workshopped in the Piano Store at Nada, as well as subsequently playing there as part of the second New York International Fringe Festival. It has also been presented at St. Mary’s College in Maryland and at New York Theatre Workshop’s Monday afternoon series.

In 2004, he co-founded Theatre Askew with Jason Jacobs. For Askew he has appeared as Tim Jackson-Smith in Bald Diva!; Ariel in The Tempest; “1” in i google myself; and various roles in Horatio’s Rise, The Good Whistleblower of Chaillot’s Mother… and The Fickle Mistress. Also for Askew he conceived, co-adapted, co-directed, choreographed, and appeared as Caligula in the six-part serial adaptation I, Claudius Live. For his work on that show, Next magazine named him one of its “Future Legends” in 2006. Other Askew directing credits include the world premiere of William M. Hoffman and Anthony Holland’s Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor, starring David Greenspan and Everett Quinton; Avant Garde Arama at P.S. 122; and Bianca Leigh’s solo musical Busted. He also has directed numerous projects for the Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience (TAYPE), Askew’s educational theatre program for LGBTQ youth. In 2007, he directed two segments of the OBIE-winning site-specific performances East and West Village Fragments for Peculiar Works Project (PWP)—“The Bed” and “Camera Obscura.” For his work with both companies named him a “Person of the Year.”

In 2011, he directed and choreographed Hairspray for the Lehman College (CUNY) undergraduate theater program. His latest film project, The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek, premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2010 and will have a run at the Quad Cinema in March of next year.

As a dancer he worked with En Garde Arts in Jonathan Larson and Jeffrey Jones’ J.P. Morgan Saves the Nation (choreography by Doug Elkins). More recently he appeared with Alexandra Beller/Dances at Abrons Arts Center at Henry Street Settlement in May 2009 in what comes after happy and egg. The company subsequently performed these pieces on tour in Bytom, Poland, and St. Petersburg, Russia. He is currently an MA candidate in Theatre at Hunter College, where he received the 2011-12 Vera Roberts Fellowship. Along with several of his Hunter colleagues, he is currently in rehearsals for a new adaptation of Woyzeck, opening at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City on November 7.


Trav S.D. (Travis Stewart) A performer, writer and producer Trav S.D. is the author of over 100 plays (for stage, screen and radio), 300 published articles, and the book No Applause, Just Throw Money, The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous (Faber & Faber, 2005). His works have been presented at Joe’s Pub (the Public Theatre), LaMama E.T.C.,Theater for the New City, the Ohio Theatre (Soho Think Tank), HERE, Dixon Place, Galapagos, Bowery Poetry Club, the Brick, and, regionally and internationally, in London, Portland, Minneapolis, Austin, Seattle, and Providence. His works include Willy Nilly, a hit of the 2009 NY International Fringe Festival and House of Trash, published in Plays and Playwrights 2001.He also presented hundreds of New York’s top variety acts through his American Vaudeville Theatre since 1996. His projects have received the support of the New York State Council of the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Council on the Humanities, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and the MacDowell and Edward F. Albee Colonies.

As an arts journalist, he has contributed to American Theater (where he was Affiliated Writing Fellow in 2001), the Village Voice, Time Out New York, the New York Sun, Reason, and many others. He currently writes the Downtown Theatre column in the Villager and Downtown Express, as well as the arts and culture blog Travalanche. His latest book, Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube will be published by Bear Manor Media in 2013.