24 episodes

Artist/activists Nick Fracaro and Gabriele Schafer tell the story of their three years living in the “tipi on the hill,” by way of their radical alternative theater work leading up to it, their 40+ year creative partnership, and reflections on a life lived together at the intersection of art, culture, politics, and spirituality.

In the middle of the night in 1990, Nick and Gabriele covertly erected a replica of a Lakota tipi in the center of New York City’s longest-existing homeless encampment known as The Hill. The tipi was dedicated on the centenary of the Wounded Knee Massacre “in remembrance of the lives lost in 1890 and in recognition of the sovereignty and dignity of the most disenfranchised and forgotten members of our society a century later.

”The Hill traces the steps of how a shantytown went from the anonymity of waist-high huts hidden in the weeds to becoming a tour bus and celebrity stop; from addicts just getting by to a drug supermarket at the height of the AIDS crisis; from a close-knit community to a crime scene that entangles everyone when an arson fire kills the most innocent of them all.

Thieves Theatre has been described as conceptual, guerilla, site-specific, experimental, avant-garde… Gabriele and Nick mostly describe their work as paratheatrical. In 2007, Thieves Theatre was renamed International Culture Lab to more accurately reflect their evolved mission.

#counterculture #indietheater #tepee #newyorkcityhistory #1990s #activism #socialjustice

For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org ( https://thievestheatre.org/ )

Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org

Follow at @tipionthehill

An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com ( https://www.untamedriver.com/ )

Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com

Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com

The Hill: A Thieves Theatre Podcast Untamed Network

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

Artist/activists Nick Fracaro and Gabriele Schafer tell the story of their three years living in the “tipi on the hill,” by way of their radical alternative theater work leading up to it, their 40+ year creative partnership, and reflections on a life lived together at the intersection of art, culture, politics, and spirituality.

In the middle of the night in 1990, Nick and Gabriele covertly erected a replica of a Lakota tipi in the center of New York City’s longest-existing homeless encampment known as The Hill. The tipi was dedicated on the centenary of the Wounded Knee Massacre “in remembrance of the lives lost in 1890 and in recognition of the sovereignty and dignity of the most disenfranchised and forgotten members of our society a century later.

”The Hill traces the steps of how a shantytown went from the anonymity of waist-high huts hidden in the weeds to becoming a tour bus and celebrity stop; from addicts just getting by to a drug supermarket at the height of the AIDS crisis; from a close-knit community to a crime scene that entangles everyone when an arson fire kills the most innocent of them all.

Thieves Theatre has been described as conceptual, guerilla, site-specific, experimental, avant-garde… Gabriele and Nick mostly describe their work as paratheatrical. In 2007, Thieves Theatre was renamed International Culture Lab to more accurately reflect their evolved mission.

#counterculture #indietheater #tepee #newyorkcityhistory #1990s #activism #socialjustice

For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org ( https://thievestheatre.org/ )

Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org

Follow at @tipionthehill

An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com ( https://www.untamedriver.com/ )

Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com

Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com

    Ep 23: Goodbye... Until Timeless Spring

    Ep 23: Goodbye... Until Timeless Spring

    The end of the story. The story that never ends. 
    Nick and Gabriele narrate their final days on The Hill, leading up to the day it was finally razed, and tell what they know about what happened to their neighbors and friends in the aftermath. 
    They bring together their past and present research but are unable to discover the true story behind the arson/murder of Mister Lee.  
    In this final episode, N & G reflect on how creating The Hill: A Thieves Theatre Podcast has intertwined their past and present lives on a metaphysical level. In their search for meaning, uncanny synchronicities tease and taunt. 
    “Other animals do not need a purpose in life. ...the human animal cannot do without one. Can we not think of the aim of life as being simply to see?” John Gray, “Straw Dogs” 
    “I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” -- John Keats 

    People v. Fossett: https://casetext.com/case/people-v-fossett 
    Greenbaum obituary: https://www.allencares.com/obituaries/Joel-Greenbaum-2/#!/Obituary 
    #homelessencampment #homeless #nychistory #1990s #truecrime #shantytown #johnkeats #johnkeatsquote #johngray  

    For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org 
    Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org 
    @tipionthehill 
     
    An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com 
    Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com 
    Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com 


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-hill/donations

    • 58 min
    Ep 22: Psychotic Break/Hero’s Journey – Red Pill/Blue Pill?

    Ep 22: Psychotic Break/Hero’s Journey – Red Pill/Blue Pill?

    Plagued by grief and guilt, and estranged from everyone, including Gabriele, Nick wanders the streets hunting for Mister Lee’s murderer. Wearing his ghost shirt, he dances himself into trance-like states, and starts receiving visions, signs... directives for what he needs to do to complete his mission. On his journey into the world of mysticism and magic, he is given comfort and direction from fellow travelers, “mentally ill” street people in the East Village. 
    Someone may be ‘out of touch’ with consensus reality, but they’re actually ‘in touch’ with mythic/mystic realms, which other cultures, like Hindu and Native American cultures have long recognized – two different paradigms. In The Matrix terms, it’s the difference between taking the blue pill and the red pill. 
    Nick talks about growing up on a farm, hunting and trapping, including snapping turtles... “tortuga.” 
    Nick reads part of the narration of their film “Tortuga Crawl.” Gabriele reads her tribute to Mister Lee that was read on the day of his memorial service on The Hill. 

    #homelessencampment #homeless #nychistory #1990s #truecrime #shantytown #thematrix #josephcampbell #mentalillness #theherosjourney
    For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org
    Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org
    @tipionthehill

    An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com
    Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com
    Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-hill/donations

    • 43 min
    Ep 21: Aftermath of the Arson/Murder

    Ep 21: Aftermath of the Arson/Murder

    Nick and Gabriele knew from all the articles written about it that the fire was designated as arson, but neither the press nor they were privy to any information as to how that was determined.  
    Who committed the arson and why? Dan Hays from the New York Daily News wrote five articles trying to get to the bottom of the cops’ involvement before his editor pulled the plug. At the same time, Nick was doing his own investigation around the blue wall of silence until grief and guilt at not having been there to save Mister Lee overtook him. 
    The fire was started at around 5am on a morning when Nick was sleeping comfortably in his Brooklyn bed, which drove him literally crazy. When he got to the Hill that morning, he walked into a crime scene investigation, with Mister Lee uncovered, frozen manikin-like, unrecognizable, and, most eerily, upright in a kind of kneeling tai-chi position that looked like he faced the smoke, the fire -- death -- head on, with acceptance and courage, like a warrior. 
    The next day, it was front-page news in the New York Daily News: “Shanty Inferno – arsonists target poorest of the poor; one killed.”  
    “Residents of the modern-day Hooverville, on the Manhattan side of the bridge, said the blaze was set by two pistol-carrying drug dealers from a nearby public housing complex who bore a grudge against a resident who survived.” 
    But that wasn’t the full story. And now the circus began: Rev. Melvin Walker (an Al Sharpton wannabe), Dan Hays (Daily News reporter), the city medical examiner, the cops, ADA Greenbaum, Spencer, the Hill’s drug lord... all had agendas that N & G needed to navigate. 
    Gabriele and Margaret Morton were taking care of business – getting the body released from the medical examiner to the funeral home, going to the funeral, planning the memorial at The Hill, etc., while Nick was wandering the streets getting more and more lost, both within himself and from Gabriele. 
     
    #homelessencampment #homeless #nychistory #1990s #drugwars #policecorruption #truecrime #shantytown 
    For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org 
    Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org 
    @tipionthehill 
     
    An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com 
    Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com 
    Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com 


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-hill/donations

    • 47 min
    Ep 20: Search for Absolution

    Ep 20: Search for Absolution

    We are coming toward the end of this story. A few more episodes and the events of the tipi in the shantytown will have been told. This episode will end with the murder of Mister Lee, followed by the chaotic aftermath and the eventual demise of The Hill itself (albeit over a year later).  
    But it is not the events, the facts, that are difficult to narrate. It is the painful task of trying to make sense of it all, to analyze and reconcile what it is we did, our actions as well as our non-actions, that caused us to bury the archives in our basement for 30 years. 
    In this episode, we examine the motivation behind our road trip to the Wounded Knee site and Pine Ridge, and then recount the heartwarming, absurd, frightening, foolish, metaphysical events that led up to the tragic day that marked the beginning of the end of the tipi on The Hill. 

    For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org
    Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org
    @tipionthehill

    An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com
    Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com
    Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-hill/donations

    • 51 min
    Ep 19: The Lost Cause

    Ep 19: The Lost Cause

    On the 101st anniversary Gabriele and Nick explore the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre and the adjacent landscape –– the sacred Black Hills of the Lakota –– seeking to find acceptance and support for the tipi memorial they had erected.
    In their exploration of the Black Hills, they happen upon the Crazy Horse Memorial. At the 1939 New York World's Fair, a Polish American sculptor named Korczak Ziolkowski, had won first prize. The resulting fame, as well as his familiarity with the Black Hills, prompted a few Lakota Chiefs to petition the sculptor to create a monument to their renowned hero Crazy Horse.
    What will be the world's largest monument will also be one of the world's slowest to build. Korczak knew when he started chiseling away at the mountain that it would take at least three generations to complete. When he died in 1982, his family, headed by his wife Ruth and oldest daughter Dawn, carried on with the project. N & G are befriended by Dawn and her partner Jay. They find kinship in devotion and intent of each of their missions, and, of course in the incongruity of being white people dedicated to honoring the Lakota.
    N & G examine the history in the carving of the three largest memorial sculptures in America -- Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and the Confederate Memorial Carving at Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta.
    When Gutzon Borglum was hired as sculptor for Mount Rushmore it was through his fame in what today is the largest high relief sculpture in the world. He was the original sculptor of this ode to the Confederacy that was initiated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and funded by the Ku Klux Klan. Throughout his work on Stone Mountain, from 1915 until 1923, Borglum was intensely involved in Klan politics related to Stone Mountain, and on a national scale as well. In 1924 he accepted the offer to be the sculptor of Rushmore, and it was his vision that turned it into what it is today. Amazingly, the original design of Rushmore was to include depictions of Native Americans before it was transformed into what Borglum envisioned, “an unambiguous symbol of male manifest destiny.”
    Nick, Gabriele, Dawn and Jay discussed the principle of Seventh Generation, which is based on an ancient Iroquois philosophy, where our actions should not be judged by their immediate effect on the world, but by their effect on seven generations in the future.
    How will Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and the Confederate Memorial Carving be viewed by the Seventh Generation?
    And what does it mean for the Tipi on The Hill when the offer to gift the memorial to the Lakota is rejected by Leola One Feather?
    #conceptualart #guerrillaart #homelessencampment #homeless #nychistory #1990s #activism #woundedknee #pineridge #memorials #gravesites #wovoka #ghostdance #ghostshirt #leolaonefeather

    For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org
    Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org
    @tipionthehill

    An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com
    Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com
    Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-hill/donations

    • 43 min
    Ep 18: Until Death Calls My Name

    Ep 18: Until Death Calls My Name

    Gabriele and Nick examine the nature of memorials and gravesites. The tipi on The Hill was both a memorial commemorating the centenary of the Wounded Knee Massacre and a political statement about homelessness. But it was also a deeply personal endeavor, especially for Nick, whose deceased brother had struggled with heroin addiction. 
    Harriet Cohen, from her official capacity in the office of Ruth Messinger, the Manhattan Borough President, phoned Nick regularly querying about the nature and condition of The Hill and discussing the politics of homelessness. The conversations sometimes turned personal. “Nick, I am trying to understand what your motive is in all this, is it political or spiritual?” 
    With the prevalence of drug sales and the violence that now defined The Hill, the question was, Why stay? Part of the answer had to do with not abandoning your chosen family, but a stronger unconscious drive steered their (non)action. In naming their project “Thieves Theatre’s Last Stand,” Nick and Gabriele were subconsciously signaling that they were willing “to die on this hill.” Their three-week road trip to Nevada and Pine Ridge was an attempt to escape this fate. 
    With their trip out west, they wanted not just to visit the Wounded Knee site; they hoped to gift the tipi to the Lakota tribe who would be better able to represent the dead that it memorialized. And most importantly, they wanted to bring the memorial to the land, to the earth, where it truly belonged: the land of the Lakota. 
    #conceptualart #guerrillaart #homelessencampment #homeless #nychistory #1990s #activism #woundedknee #pineridge #memorials #gravesites #wovoka #ghostdance #ghostshirt #leolaonefeather
     
    For extensive documentation and to purchase the book, "The Hill": thievestheatre.org  
    Contact Nick and Gabriele: podcast@thievestheatre.org  
    @tipionthehill  
    An Untamed Network Original Podcast: www.untamedriver.com  
    Podcast Management: bfisher@untamedriver.com  
    Ad sales: lwestbrook@untamedriver.com 


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/the-hill/donations

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

Babes of Entertainment ,

Who doesn’t want to leave a mark on this world?

I still can’t believe the story is true. I read the book and the way Gaby and Nick told the story with such compassion, giving a voice to people who were invisible, is inspiring. The fact that Gaby took a town car from her high brow job to join Nick and the residents of the homeless encampment, is so insane it is kinda funny. I am sure that driver thought she was nuts. Get the book and it will be larger than life! This all happened! You guys are my heros!

euromix ,

Fascinating

This podcast is absolutely amazing. Gaby and Nick are great artists and story tellers. They give voice to the voiceless.

Phantomhampton ,

Fascinating New York City History

I'm so glad these two charismatic storytellers start this story at the very beginning and lead us on a tour through the books that inspired their early theatre work. I can't get enough of the history of how the teepee and the Hill came to be.

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