Collection Title: Split Britches video collection
Title: Salad of the Bad Café
Alternate Title: Salad of the Bad Café (1998)
Date: 1998 Nov. 4
Location: Performed at Drill Hall, London, on Nov. 4, 1998.
Work Type: Performance., Theater., Lesbian theater., Feminist theater., Work-in-progress.
Split Britches, producer ; Lois Weaver, director, writer ; Peggy Shaw, Stacy Makishi, writers.
Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, Stacy Makishi.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:27:25
Language: English
Synopsis: Since 1981, the Split Britches Company (founded by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin, has written and performed in trio, duet, and solo, as well as collaborated and performed with other artists. They describe their work in this way: 'Our work is rooted in popular culture, but positioned against it. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It depends on the surprise of transformation rather than the logic of psychological narrative. It straddles the line between performance and theater, exploiting theatricality while exposing the pretense. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics. It is feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone and lesbian because it takes the presence of lesbian on stage as a given.' Their vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performances have received numerous awards, including a Jane Chamber award and four Village Voice OBIE awards.Their collection of scripts, 'Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice', edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. 'Salad of the Bad Café' is a postmodern cabaret written and performed by Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw of Split Britches and Asian American performance artist Stacy Makishi. Inspired by Carson McCullers' story 'The Ballad of the Sad Café' and the lives of Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima, it is a treatise on love in a post-claustrophobic era. The play begins in 1945, in the summer that lay between the war and the postwar period when Japan was weeping, the American South was seething and the word 'gender' was mostly used in grammar class.The setting is a café where people come to spend a few hours so that the 'deep bitter knowing that their life is not worth much can be laid to rest.' Racial, gender and regional stereotypes come together to tell a story of unrequited love, in an attempt to demystify the Queer, disorient the Orient and demythify the Southern Gothic and the American Grotesque. This is one of the first iterations of the piece, performed as a work-in-progress in London in 1998.
"Materials of the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library are protected by copyright. They may not be copied, downloaded, or reproduced. The owner of this work has granted NYU Libraries non-exclusive rights to include this material in the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library and to make it accessible to the public for educational and research purposes. Requests to purchase or for permission to use the work should be directed to the owner."
Copyright Holder: Split Britches