BLUNDERLAND Comes to South Florida 11/19-22
Fort Lauderdale will be only the second city in the country to receive the production How I Stepped Out as a Transvestite from BLUNDERLAND by Rufus Cadigan, performing November 19-22. Blunderland received its world premiere in June, 2013 during the annual Columbus Pride Celebration. Blunderland is a true story based on the life of Rev. William Carlson (1935-2012). Mr. Cadigan and Mr. Carlson became friends around 1994 when they were both parishioners at St. Chad's Episcopal Church in Loves Park, Illinois. Mr. Cadigan remembers him as a kind, warm gentleman filled with joy and humor.
Performances will be November 19, 20, 21, 22 at 8 PM at the Andrews Living Arts Studio, 23 NW 5th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. Tickets can be purchased online at mpschwamberger.com, http://evolutiontheatre.org/BLUNDERLAND_in_Florida.html or by calling 800-838-3006. Tickets are $30; Senior and Students $25. http://mpschwamberger.com
In 2007 Mr. Carlson asked, a little shyly, if Mr. Cadigan would write a play about his life. At this point, Mr Cadigan knew very little about his past except that he was once an entertainer at The Office, a local gay bar featuring men where his alter ego, SeawayRose, strutted his stuff in sequined gowns. Mr. Carlson wanted to start out this play about how, as a little boy, he dreamed of dressing up as a girl. They agreed to meet to talk about Mr. Carlson's life and to see if there was enough "stuff" that might work as a play. This turned out to be one of the most pleasurable opportunities a playwright could imagine. In the spring of 2008 a reading of the play was performed, Mr. Carlson playing himself and told his story to an invited audience of his friends and supporters in the community.
Many of his LGBT friends cried and laughed together as they watched Bill being Bill. Mr. Carlson had invited his siblings, family and relatives but, to his sorrow, none of them came. The play was never fully produced, although they often talked about it. Mr. Carlson's health grew more and more fragile. He died in Spring 2012 never seeing the play about his life performed. The night before Mr. Carlson's funeral a mutual friend took on Bill?s role and the play received another reading at the church where his service was held. In the months leading up to his death, Mr. Cadigan told Mr. Carlson that he would try to find a theater that would be interested in producing his story. That theatre turned out to be Evolution Theatre Company located in Columbus, Ohio where this man's incredible life story could shine once again.
How I Stepped Out as a Transvestite from BLUNDERLAND, affords the audience the opportunity to see the life of drag queen turned minster, Bill Carlson, chronicled throughout a single show. BLUNDERLAND stars Mark Phillip Schwamberger, as Carlson, and at times, Miss Seaway Rose, his pleasant, and equally flamboyant, female alter-ego. Set from the 1950's, all the way to the 2000's, BLUNDERLAND takes its audiences on an intimate and whimsical journey through the many sexual, physical and emotional stages of Carlson's existence; eventually unraveling how a man so dissimilar to others was able to find his own drum to beat by. Told in a narrative fashion, Carlson navigates his way through bad boyfriends, pubic discrimination, the closeted military, and the drag lifestyle to come out a man (and woman) who still has the innate ability to smile. He often baits his audience throughout the show, asking them to join in the festivities of his life, and moreover, to enjoy what they have left of theirs. Though it focuses less on the bling and more on sentiment, it's definitely a hopeful show to watch. BLUNDERLAND will inspire both the young and old to keep pushing for what's right together.