Collection Title: Split Britches video collection
Title: Dress suits to hire
Alternate Title: Dress suits for hire
Date: 1993
Location: Performed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1993.
Work Type: Performance., Theater., Lesbian theater., Feminist theater.
Split Britches, producer ; Lois Weaver, director ; Holly Hughes, writer
Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:46:33
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. This video documents their show 'Dress Suits to Hire'. Written by Holly Hughes in collaboration with Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, the piece uses images from pulp fiction and film noir to portray the erotic cat-and-mouse relationship between characters Deluxe and Michigan, two women who live in a clothing store. Heated fantasies, brassy broads and sexual charades make for a carnivorous free-for-all. The video also includes a Q&A session with Shaw and Weaver at the end of the performance.
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Copyright Holder: Split Britches