Collection Title: Split Britches video collection
Title: Beauty and the beast
Alternate Title: Beauty and the beast (1983)
Date: 1983
Location: Performed at University of the Streets Café, New York City, in 1983.
Work Type: Performance., Theater., Lesbian theater., Feminist theater.
Split Britches, producer; Lois Weaver, director, writer; Peggy Shaw, Deb Margolin, writers.
Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, Deb Margolin.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:18:05
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 the first version of their show Beauty and the Beast. Based on the classic fairy tale, influenced by the long rule of republican politics and informed by the Christian agenda that dominates the US scene up till the present, it is the personal journey of a Salvation Army woman who plays the good and beautiful daughter who secretly wants to be bad, a Rabbi in pink toe shoes who is relegated to the role of the father and longs to be a stand-up comic, and an 86-year-old lesbian vaudeville freak who embraces the role of the Beast and comments on politics by forgetting which play she is in.
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Copyright Holder: Split Britches