A new nation, conceived in liberty (and women)
Since we didn’t bring our A-game to the 9x22 talkback last night (might have had something to do with glue, cold pavement, and adrenaline), I figured I’d throw out a bunch of facts about the piece.
Laurie asked for a list of our influences before the show. Here's that:
People we know, Wheel of Fortune, our bicycles, radical women, Christianity, Gypsy Rose Lee, Pauline Kael, Graham Greene, veneration of flesh, the human creation of gods and celebrities, this quote about famous people "once they're in our hands, we decide just how famous, and for how long," suffragettes, bicycles, Vegas, Guy DuBord, the human spirit.
These texts also influenced the piece:
- Fame: What the Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity, by Tom Payne
- Pauline Kael’s review of Marilyn, by Norman Mailer
- InTouch Magazine
- The King James Bible
We watched Gypsy Rose Lee (a lot).
Our pieces, for all that they are based on what we read and watch and see, are moving into a realm of feeling, using the stage to create things we want to see exist in the world. I don’t know what it means to say that; almost nothing in the show is something I want to exist outside of the stage (Creepy high school teacher? Tuberculosis-ridden strippers?)
We talked a lot about “the picture of free untrammeled womanhood”: how do each of the images read in the context of freedom and liberation? How does pursuing desire support or distract from the work of liberation? Does glittery gold fabric titillate or empower? In a culture that encourages and denies desire, what does it mean to pursue any desire at all?
Being part of Mad King Thomas means I get to construct realities, can obscure myself with Vanna White, can talk about what I like, do what I like. And sometimes other people want in on the conversation. For which I say thank you a million times.
Here's our piece, Fish on Bikes: A Picture of Free Untrammeled Womanhood: