Dr. Anonymous at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting in 1972. Photo by Kay Tobin, courtesy New York Public Library Collections.
Obie award-winning playwright Ain Gordon's Center-funded play 217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous—created during a two-year residency with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania—travels to Baryshnikov Arts Center. Presented in conjunction with the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, the work profiles Dr. John Fryer, known as "Dr. Anonymous," one of the pioneers of the LGBT rights movement.
Gordon's work incorporates archival material from 217 boxes of the Historical Society's Fryer collection to draw a portrait of the man behind the mask. Nightly artist talkbacks follow each performance. See the full schedule here.
Through An Artist Embedded in History, Gordon "embedded" himself in the Historical Society's daily functions, in order to reflect on the processes of how history is documented and preserved. Together, Gordon and Historical Society staff explored, via a series of public events with visiting artists and scholars, how historical events are related to contemporary social issues in the US.