Collection Title: Split Britches video collection
Title: Belle reprieve
Date: 1991
Location: Performed at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, New York City, in 1991.
Work Type: Performance., Theater., Gay & lesbian theater., Queer performance., Feminist theater.
Split Britches, producer ; Lois Weaver, director, writer ; Peggy Shaw, Bette Bourne, Paul Shaw, writers ; Laka Daisical, music ; Phil Booth, music ; Nancy Bardawil, Matthew Owens, set design ; Howard S. Thies, lighting design.
Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, Bette Bourne, Paul Shaw, Laka Daisical (musician).
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:46:32
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 performance 'Belle Reprieve'. Collaborating with legendary gay/drag performers Bloolips, Shaw and Weaver take on Tennessee Williams' 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and the mythic proportions of Stanley and Blanche. Both steamy and hysterical, 'Belle Reprieve' looks at gay and lesbian sex in the 1940's and both honors Williams and turns him on his head.
"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