Former Cockette Fayette Hauser comes to Eugene for Multiple Appearances

Hauser appears in conjunction with the exhibition “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977.”


EUGENE, Ore. -- (March 27, 2013) – Fayette Hauser, an original member of the Cockettes, a commune and theater troupe that performed lavish stage acts regularly in the late 1960s and early 1970s at San Francisco’s Palace Theatre, comes to Eugene in April. Hauser’s intimate photographs of the Cockettes, featured in “West of Center,” reveal the group’s off-stage antics and radical lifestyle. Hauser will present an artist’s talk, host a special performance and kick-off a screening of the documentary, “The Cockettes,” showing for one week at the Bijou Art Cinemas.


On Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m., Hauser will lead an illustrated talk that focuses on the Cockettes’ influence on fashion and theater, as well as their efforts to break down barriers of gender identification. Co-sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center's Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and the Department of Art, the talk takes place at 115 Lawrence Hall on the University of Oregon Campus.


On Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m., Hauser will screen rare performance footage of the Cockettes at the Palace Theater, with live narration, followed by a performance piece titled “Dear Diary.” Hauser describes her performance as a satirized version of her experiences with the Cockettes, including props and song, all with an absurdist touch. The performance takes place at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and is co-sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center's Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities.


From April 12 – 16, the Bijou Art Cinemas, 492 E 13th Avenue, Eugene, screens the documentary “The Cockettes.” The opening night screening, Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m., will be introduced by Hauser and filmmaker David Weissman. The documentary tells the story of the group’s short but memorable existence. Directors Bill Weber and David Weissman utilize a wealth of archival footage to relate how George Harris III became “Hibiscus” and formed the gender-bending troupe that would perform LSD-fueled musical theater, eventually reaching New York for an off-Broadway debut. Through extensive interviews with the flamboyant performers, the directors paint a vivid picture of the booming San Francisco counterculture. “The Cockettes” was screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and was chosen best documentary of 2002 by the LA Film Critics Association.


In the late ’60s and early ’70s, a San Francisco-based group of hippies and drag queens formed a talented theater troupe known as the Cockettes. Maintaining little distinction between art and life, gay and straight, or male and female, they wore their exuberant, handmade outfits in both everyday life and on stage.


According to poet Allen Ginsberg, “The Cockettes brought out into the street what was in the closet, in terms of theatrical dress and imaginative theater.” Exploring sexual expression and gender identity, the Cockettes invented new forms of glamor that became influential for the following decades.


The Cockettes are featured in the exhibition, “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1997,” on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through April 28. Curated by Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner, “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977” is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition is supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is made possible at the JSMA by the Coeta and Donald Barker Special Exhibitions Endowment Fund and JSMA members.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,