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Photo Flash: Split Britches' DESPERATE ARCHIVES Draws Crowds Despite Winter Storm Hercules

Related: La MaMa, Desperate Archives, Split Britches

In spite of Winter Storm Hercules, over 300 well-wishers filled La MaMa's La Galleria, 6 East 1st Street, on Friday, January 3 for the opening of "Desperate Archives" by Split Britches, the legendary lesbian performance troupe. "Desperate Archives" is a gallery exhibition in which Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches re-purpose their own archival material from the last 20 years to explore the issues of having, holding, and letting go. Scroll down for photos from the opening!

The exhibition, running from January 3 to 19, coincides with La MaMa's production of "Ruff," Peggy Shaw's performance about life and art following her 2011 stroke, which is directed by Lois Weaver and written by Shaw and Weaver. That production will take stage in La MaMa's First Floor Theater January 9 to 26.

"Desperate Archives" includes paintings by Peggy Shaw, sketch books by Lois Weaver, video footage never seen before, iconic photos by Eva Weiss and Saskia Scheffer, multiple clips of dances choreographed by Stormy Brandenberger and a variety of costumes by Susan Young, some animated. There are wardrobes containing "butch" and "femme" installations and photos of audiences. A collection of musical compositions by Vivial Stoll are on sale. A green screen photo booth app designed by Matt Delbridge enables you take take a self-portrait and then put yourself onstage with Split Britches. Some installation designs are by Split Britches' production manager, Jo Palmer, and the show is being assembled in collaboration with Split Britches archivist Helaine Gawlica.

The Man Meat Collective is offering performance interventions live in La Galleria from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on evenings there are shows of "Ruff" in the First Floor Theater.

La MaMa's La Galleria is located at 6 East First Street. "Desperate Archives" will be offered January 3-19, 2014, Wednesdays - Sundays, 1:00 PM -7:30 PM.

ABOUT SPLIT BRITCHES: The performance troupe Split Britches was founded in 1981 by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin (all veterans of Hot Peaches and Spiderwoman Theater) at NYC's WOW Cafe (an outgrowth of the WOW International Theater Festivals there of 1980 and 1981). Split Britches received an Obie in 1986 for sustained excellence and in 1987 Shaw received an Obie for best actor in "Dress Suits for Hire." Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver became New York's preeminent lesbian performance duo, known for "a long line of smart, thrillingly well-executed performance pieces" (Katherine Dieckmann, Village Voice) and "tough intellectual and verbal content (John Hammond, The Native).

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by Barry Kostrinsky