Vena Cava was a solo performance by the composer and vocalist Diamanda Galas commissioned by The Kitchen. The work explored a variety of themes that have been ongoing concerns within Galas’s body of work, including mental illness, extremity and excess, bodily experience, AIDS, stigma, and psychic violence. The work explored the psychological and emotional consequences of isolation on the individual in the institutional context of the hospital through the lens of clinical depression and AIDS dementia. A work of sonic theater, the textual component of Vena Cava was informed by the late playwright and actor Philip Dimitri-Galas’s theatrical writings, schizophrenic language and medical studies on these conditions, as well as aspects of Galas’s personal understanding. The performance was met with critical acclaim and was recorded as a live album, which was released the following year.