Vinnie Vermillion

The anti-artist Vinnie Vermillion wandered onto the scene several years ago. The first anyone knows about him, he purchased a crumbling century-old theater in Iowa City. While the theater survives by renting out to the affluent and sexually daring for parties, it is known for its shows. Shows that are invitation-only and there are never invitations issued. Every member of the Vermillion Theatre audience is a trespasser. The Vermilion's first performances were strange, deliberately unpleasant events featuring harsh discordant music, spastic convulsive dances and droning recitations of questions from a Scientology auditing test circa 1979.

Then Vinnie got the door to Lash opened behind the stage and things got weirder. Some say he knew the cherry was there when bought the place. Others say Vinnie is strangely lucky. Some of his notable presentations are:

  • In 2007, The entire population of Best Care Transitional Home for the Elderly attended a performance due to a scheduling error by the Home's staff. The performance sparked six members of the audience to heart attacks. In the newspaper, Vinnie referred to the event as, his "finest hour".
  • In response to the Bird Flu epidemic, Vermillion purchased 103 chickens, "trained" them over 2 months, covered the entire theater in white butcher paper then released every one of the chickens, headless, to dance in spiraling patterns while spurting blood throughout the stage and aisles.
  • In celebration of what Vinnie titled Misogyny Month (Feb 13th - Mar 8th) his show featured non-humanoid robots that violated the corpse of a baby lamb, a roasted pumpkin and a live actress while Vinnie screamed through a sound system a mechanized voice proclaiming the virtues of meat-eating and the degradation of the female gender. A year later he replayed the performance with a male actor and changed the speech accordingly.

Vinnie has a large collection of fanciful and pretty tattoos and wears a handlebar mustache and top hat. He is fit, laughs often and is prone to highly dramatic behavior in completely inappropriate situations. His propensity for the surreal and his near-obsession with provoking intense reactions from others results in the impression that Vinnie only barely grasps the English language. He is a member of the Democratic Liberation Front of Mankind and best friends with the Partisan.

Vermillion claims to be many things, including:

  • autistic
  • dead
  • an anarchist
  • the demon-lord of Joy
  • color wrought in the clothing of flesh
  • A hachetman, but claims his sponsor just doesn't need anyone killed

Vinnie is also notable lucky. He has won the lottery twice, he survived an attempted shooting at his theatre where he was the only target and there was a certain political candidate that declared the Vermillion Theatre "a moral eyesore" and was killed by a falling piece of ice from a plane the next day.

This is not to say Vinnie's life runs smoothly. On two separate occasions, the city has warned Vinnie he will be shut down if "whatever is biting people [at his shows] continues to menace the public." Vinnie has also had continuing trouble with health violations (notably his SHITPOLITICSSHIT show). He was fined for the sale of liquor without a liquor license and jailed for 3 days for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (four counts).

Vinnie will allow access to the door for $50-$100 each or, occasionally he will demand the group be cast in his upcoming show as payment.

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