Glass Mind Theatre to Present Baltimore Premiere of THE ALL-AMERICAN GENDERF*CK CABARET, 4/11-19
Glass Mind Theatre gives The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret by Mariah MacCarthy its Baltimore premiere. Traditional sexuality combusts. A gender-bending emcee guides the audience as limitations of sexuality are redefined throughout confines and confusion.
Playwright MacCarthy says that she wanted to write vignettes about the female experience. She then had a revelation: "I couldn't create a piece about women that had no men in it."
Aside from the androgynous emcee, Genderf*ck revolves around eight seeming-stereotypes of gender and sex. The twenty-somethings are all intertwined in each other's lives as they navigate sex, gender identity and their relationships with each other. Platonic and romantic relationships sizzle and twist in different directions, and the characters begin to shed what they believed defined them. MacCarthy combines humor, drama, raunchy jokes and dance parties.
"I might be feminine, androgynous, or a tomboy; straight, a lesbian, pansexual, or just 'queer'; a livid, no-bullshit Feminazi robot queen, or the most people-pleasing boy-crazy girl next door you've ever met," says MacCarthy. "In a way, Genderf*ck has been my way of investigating and teasing out all my contradictions, by putting those aspects into different characters and setting them loose on each other."
The play is contemporary, but Director Susan Stroupe layers in the lens of the Gilded Age in the 1900s, where cabarets began.
"I would feel pretty irresponsible as a theater artist if we addressed gender roles in 2014 without addressing economics," she says. Because of the wealth gap and speed of technological advancements, many call the current era the '"New Gilded Age." She points out that original cabarets of the Gilded Age were a place of mixing classes, where people toyed with gender even before 1920.
Stroupe's vision does not lack playful elements. "I think think this play is a great opportunity to poke fun at how gender issues are often seen as middle-class issues, even though they aren't," she says, "We'll be layering in a visual narrative of what has been nicknamed 'McLuxury'... we'll be making fun of leisure time gone amok." Stroupe also wants include playing with the idea of patriotism, and what it means to be American.
The director calls Genderf*ck a perfect fit for the Baltimore arts scene. "Baltimore has a rich culture of people who bend the rules of gender and many other things," says Stroupe. "This show is all about the complexity of defining one's identity, and what is more Baltimorean than that?"
In Glass Mind's Season 4: NATIONAL BOHEMIA, the company takes a look at individual and group identity versus society. The company aims to challenge, highlight and question countercultures, cultural appropriation and the definitions used to define individual experiences. Next up, GMT satirizes norms with a playful and undermining take on the work of Emily Post, better known as "Miss Manners." Ann Turiano will direct the show at Area 405 in June - exact dates will be announced shortly.
The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret runs April 11-19 at Gallery 788, 3602 Hickory Ave in Hampden. Tickets are available for $15, with discounts available for artists, students, seniors and groups. Visit www.glassmindtheatre.com for tickets and more information, and firstname.lastname@example.org for group sales for groups of five or more.