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Press Highlights



" graceful and agile on stage as she is on the page...Uyehara is definitely one to watch.”     – Los Angeles Times

“One of the Hundred Coolest People in L.A…With an affinity for truth telling, body baring, and institution baiting [Uyehara is] quietly focused as a laser…fueled by a wonderful sense of the absurd…like most everything else about her, it’s not quite logical, but it makes perfect sense.”    – Buzz Magazine

“Best Performance Artist…serious but hilarious, Uyehara strips away performance-art pretenses while gleefully subverting her audiences’ expectations…pop culture, East versus West, gender issues–all are targets for her own full-frontal kick.”   – Entertainment Weekly

“Alienation, displacement and the forced search for self identity are revealed with humour and directness.”   – Variant Magazine, United Kingdom

ABOUT THE WORK - selected


Imperiled Democracy Under a Microscope, Los Angeles Times 

Art of Urgency, Los Angeles Times (Profile)


“Powerful…an intimate and elegiac solo performance…there’s an undeniable subtlety to the portraits Uyehara creates, and the show’s vignettes emerge as surreal pointillist details that express the sense of how small actions have deeply resonating consequences…director Chay Yew’s staging is intimate yet theatrical, full of small gestures, atmospheric lighting changes, and slight touches which coalesce to paint a compelling profile.”   – L.A. Weekly


“Uyehara’s concept of body memory and identity is intriguing in its refusal to clearly set up boundaries about sexuality and ethnicity. Instead, the patterns of movement and words swirl on the bare stage and leave room for thought.”   – Los Angeles Times

“Critic’s Choice. She explores tough and tender territory with humor, warmth, and an exceptionally keen eye.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian


“Critic’s Choice. Utterly convincing and pointedly funny….a performer of humor, depth and seeming fearlessness.”  – L.A. Weekly

“[Uyehara] describes making love as an opportunity to see, if only for a moment, a person with the layers stripped away….we are naked at the moment of orgasm, and it is then that our true selves are visible through the eyes.”   -Labyrinth Philadelphia Women’s

Newspaper“Critic’s Choice. Kiss Cuteness Goodbye…brutally honest…Uyehara meets Mad Kabuki Woman and deconstructs sexual and cultural identity.”  – San Francisco Weekly


Nominated for “Outstanding Cultural Event of 1996”  – Lambda Awards, Philadelphia Gay News

“A haunting reflection of the past…blends song and soliloquy.”  – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Critic’s Choice. Treading the high ground between sentiment and cynicism, Uyehara relates her grandmother’s fiery suicide in simple, evocative terms….[Her] wonder as she explores the unknowable resonates beyond the theater’s walls to the dark details that inhabit the corners of our lives.” – L.A. Weekly

“The telling of her tales pointed and the performance itself pristine….the material careens from tragedy to irony, and from past to present to future…In fact, what separates Uyehara from the pack is that she has both a voice, as in stage and vocal skills, and a voice, as in sharply realized point of view.” – Los Angeles Times 


Sacred Naked Nature Girls offer a Quest for ‘Home’ (article) – Los Angeles Times

Complete Press Bibliography

Articles and Reviews about the Work

Ketu H. Katrak. “The Arts of Resistance: Arundhati Roy, Denise Uyehara, and the Ethno-Global Imagination,” in Violence performed : local roots and global routes of conflict. Eds. Patrick Anderso, Jisha Menon. From the Studies in International Performance series, eds. Janelle Reinelt and Brian Singleton. Palgrave Macmillan (January 6, 2009):244-263.

Ito, Robert. “Crossing Over.” Book Review. Los Angeles Magazine. July 2004.

Cheng, Meiling.  “BIG HEAD. By Denise Uyehara. With additional words by Masamori Kojima, Edina Lekovic, Shady Hakim, Lulu Emery, Tamadhur Al-Aqeel, Lillian Nakano. Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica. 21 February 2003.” Theatre Journal Vol. 55, No. 3 (October 2003): 518-519.

Hart, Hugh.   “Art of urgency; A new performance work focuses on the plight of Arab Americans.: Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Feb 18, 2003.   pg. E.1

Nichols, David C., “Imperiled democracy under the microscope: Performance artist Denise Uyehara takes on freedom under fire in a prewar landscape.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Feb. 28, 2003.

—–.  “Headless Turtleneck Relatives by Denise Uyehara.” In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002: 221-226.

Hughes, Holly and David Román.  “O Solo Homo: An Introductory Conversation.” O Solo Homo:New Queer Performance. eds. Holly Hughes and David Román. New York: Grove Press, 1998.  1-15.

Kim, Ester S., “Mapping Borderless Identity: A Study of Denise Uyehara’s Solo Performances.”  Department of Theatre, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Unpublished paper.  2001.

Kearns, Michael. Getting Your Solo Act Together. Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH, 1997.

Kurahashi, Yuko. “Denise Uyehara”. Asian American Playwrights: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook.  Ed. Miles Xian Liu.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. 334-39.

Chan, Lelani. “Profile – Denise Uyehara.” Yolk 1994.

Curtis, Cathy. “Familial Material: UCI Grad’s Piece Mines Roots Poetically with Subtle Body Language.” Review.  Los Angeles Times March, 8, 1997, Orange County ed., sec. F: 1-3.

Ikeuchi Yasuko.  “Theater/Performance and Gender: the Third Conference for Asian Women and Theatre”.  Article in Japanese.  Gendaishiso, May, 2001.

Irwin, Cathy. “One’s Personal Truth Spoken: Denise Uyehara Performs ‘Maps of City and Body’ at Highways Starting Friday.” Review. Rafu Shimpo. November 1999.

Isenberg, Barbara. “Denise Uyehara: Testing Her Survival Skills – on the Job.” Feature. Los Angeles Times February 14, 1993, sec. Calendar.

Yokota, Karianna. “Speaking the Unspeakable.” Feature. Rafu Shimpo June 30, 1994, sec. Personalities.

Breslauer, Jan. “Uyehara Paints an Arresting Dreamscape with ‘Relatives’.” Review. Los Angeles Times December 11, 1993, sec. F.

Bond, Jen.  “Hello (Sex) Kitty – Denise Uyehara.”  Review. Labyrinth.  November / December 1995.  13.6.

Inoue, Todd.  “Take These Tea Leaves and Shove’ em – Denise Uyehara Gets in Touch with Her Inner Kitty in Hello (Sex) Kitty.” Review.  Metro Silicon Valley.  March 7-13, 2002, sec. Arts.

Monaghan, Connie. “Performance Pick of the Week – Hello (Sex) Kitty.” LA Weekly March 24-30, 1995.  17.17, sec. Arts.

—–. “Performance Pick of the Week – Headless Turtleneck Relatives.” LA Weekly December 10-16, 1993, 16.2, sec. Arts.

Monji, Jana J. “‘Maps of City & Body’: Memories & Identity.” Review. Los Angeles Times November 12, 1999, sec. Calendar.

“National Review of Live Art – Headless Turtleneck Relatives.” Variant (London) October 1993: 26.

Otus, Timur. “Hiro.” Review. Planet Homo July 27, 1994.

Ontiveros, Mario.  “Working-in-Common and Cross-Cultural Art Practices.” Narrative/Performance: Cross-Cultural Encounters at APPEX.  The Regents of the University of California, 2004.

Trabitz, Randee. “Theater Pick of the Week –  Hiro.” Review. LA Weekly July 15-21 1994, 16.33 ed., sec. Calendar.

Yamamoto, J.K. “One-Woman Show Looks at Race, Gender, Sexuality.” Review. Hokubei Mainichi.  May 1996.

Yokota, Karianna. “Uyehara’s ‘Hiro’ Scheduled to Open at East West Players.” Review. Rafu Shimpo June 30, 1994.

Heikkinen, Mikko-Pekka.  “Kiasman vierailevat tähdet tekevät tavarasta taidetta.”  Review.  Helsingin Sanomat.  Review in Finnish.  October 1998.

About the Sacred Naked Nature Girls
Cheng, Meiling.  “Renaming Untitled Flesh: Marking the Politics of Marginality.” Performing the Body / Performing the Text. ed. Amelia Jones and Andrew Stephenson. New York: Routledge, 1999), 199-222.

—–. “What’s in a Name?: Marking Sacred Naked Nature Girls.” In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002: 235-272.

—–. “Les Demoiselles d/L.A.: Sacred Naked Nature Girls’ Untitled Flesh.” TDR (The Drama Review) 42.2 (1998):70-97.

—–. “SNNG: Sacred Naked Nature Girls.” Theater Forum. (1997): 5-13.

Fusco, Coco. “Interview – Sacred Naked Nature Girls.” Bomb (1995): 20-22.

Kantonen, Lea.  “Kehon, Kehon, Myytit Ja Tottus” [The Body Myths and the Body Truths].  Article in Finnish.  Taide.  January 1995.  6.6: 38-39.

Foley, F. Kathleen, Sacred Naked Nature Girls offer a Quest for ‘Home’. Review. Los Angeles Times, Aug 21, 1996.

Dresser, Marianne. 

“Working Girls – The Sacred Naked Nature Girls at Luna Sea.” Review. Bay Area Reporter.  April 20, 1995. Theater. 34.


Obejas, Achy.  “Randolph Street takes ‘In the Flesh’ literally.”  Review. Chicago Tribune.  May 24, 1996. Sec. 7, 2.

Miller, Francesca.  “The Sacred Naked Nature Girls.”  Female FYI.  Review. April 1995. Theater.

Mor, Tzill.  “‘Sacred Naked Girls’ Revere Womanhood.”  Review.  Daily Bruin.  May 18, 1994.  Sec. A&E, 16.

“Nature Girls Banned by Naropa.”  Lesbians in Colorado.  April 1994.

“Performance – Sacred Naked Nature Girls.”  Slack (Colorado). July 1994.  Issue 9.

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