Retard: the Church shows founder and curator Karen Penley has an M.A. in Theater, has taught children for 30 years, and wrote, developed and performed in two full cast original theater pieces, Circus Proboscis: A Sneeze of Freaks and Not the More Lovely: A Circus Sideshow.

Of her stage work, SF Bay Guardian said, “This glad, jagged-toothed mockery of human folly comes fast, fresh and unexpected.”

Over the past 22 years, Karen has studied performance, acting, writing and movement with Bay Area teachers David Ford, John O’keefe, Nina Wise, Clover Catskill, Ruth Zaporah, Lennie Dean and Anthony Fusco through Berkeley Repertory Theater. She is the recipient of a Theater Bay Area CA$H Grant.

This is a website where you can learn more about her.


This is a portrait that one of her students drew of her:

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