John Jarboe's ROSE Extends at La Mama ETC

Performances will run January 10-20, 2024.

By: Dec. 05, 2023
John Jarboe's ROSE Extends at La Mama ETC
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Due to popular demand, the New York debut of John Jarboe's Rose: You Are Who You Eat will bloom even longer at La Mama ETC as part of the 2024 Under the Radar Festival. Now, performances will run January 10-20, 2024 as part of the show's Co-World Premiere with Woolly Mammoth, CulturalDC, and FringeArts. The show, which is conceived, written, and performed by Jarboe and directed by MK Tuomanen, arrives after a critically-acclaimed, sold out run at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Once upon a vine, John Jarboe's aunt revealed that John not only had a twin sister in the womb, but that John consumed her: "You ate her. That's why you are the way you are." This was a lot for John to swallow!

""I've been working on this project with Works & Process at the Guggenheim since spring 2020, but in a way, I have been working on it since conception," noted Jarboe. "It's been a long process of digestion and one I'm ready to share with people in live space. Rose is the most personal piece I've worked on. I think it's a step deeper and forward for me in my artistic process and for me as a human. It's a healing ritual of sorts that I hope will do for the audience what it is doing for me."

A true story of gender cannibalism, set to music, Rose: You Are Who You Eat is a heartfelt and humorous musical shrine to Jarboe's consumed twin, named Rose. Jarboe welcomes audience members into a feast of gender through song, storytelling, and a full plate of wordplay. The show features original music written in collaboration with Emily Bate, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler, and Be Steadwell, an all-queer composer team.

"As queer folx, however we identify, we are always in dynamic tension between being who we are authentically and the tyranny of respectability: fitting in by making ourselves more palatable, more recognizable to a cis-het society in order to get through the day, escape harassment, and for some of us, just to survive," added Jarboe. "I don't pass. I don't fit into a clean, commercialized narrative of transition. What I love about the story of Rose, is that it is unmistakably disrespectful, pretty tasteless, and entirely me."

Jarboe (she/her) is the founding artistic director of The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, a Philadelphia-based company, now fourteen years old. She has directed and written original work performed at La Mama ETC, Joe's Pub, Opera Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Wilma Theater, Guggenheim's Works & Process, and Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series. As a director, Jarboe has directed and helped create shows for Cookie Diorio, legendary Mezzo Stephanie Blythe, and for Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo. As a writer and performer Jarboe has toured to Paris, Poland, New Zealand.

Rose was commissioned by Works & Process and developed in collaboration with The Bearded Ladies Cabaret. The work was created during the pandemic in Works & Process bubble residencies at Mount Tremper Arts and Bethany Arts Community, with the support of the Mellon Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation. Early iterations of Rose were presented by Works & Process in the Guggenheim Rotunda (2021) Guggenheim Theater (2022), and CulturalDC (2022). This version of Rose had a sold-out run at Philadelphia's FringeArts festival in September 2023. Next, it will have a run at DC's Woolly Mammoth theater in June 2024, part of the Co-World Premiere. An art installation drawing from the same inspiration point and led by Jarboe will take place from Spring-Fall 2024 at Philadelphia's Fabric Museum and Workshop.


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Show Schedule


Wed, Jan 10th

Opening Night

8:00 PM

Thurs, Jan 11th

8:00 PM

Fri, Jan 12th

8:00 PM

Sat, Jan 13th

1:30 PM

Sat, Jan 13th

8:00 PM

Sun, Jan 14th

1:30 PM

Tues, Jan 16th

8:00 PM

Wed, Jan 17th

8:00 PM

Thurs, Jan 18th

8:00 PM

Fri, Jan 19th

8:00 PM

Sat, Jan 20th

1:30 PM

Sat, Jan 20th

8:00 PM

Service Details

La Mama ETC and Under the Radar Presents

Rose: You Are Who You Eat

Conceived, Written, and Performed by John Jarboe

Directed by MK Tuomanen

Produced by The Bearded Ladies Cabaret with Jecca Barry

Theatrical Co-World Premiere with Woolly Mammoth, CulturalDC, & FringeArts

From a commission by Works & Process at the Guggenheim

Part of the 2024 Under the Radar Festival

January 10-20, 2024

66 E. 4th Street


In Collaboration With The Bearded Ladies Cabaret and Fringe Arts

Director: MK Tuomanen

Producer: Jecca Barry

Music Director: Emily Bate

Scenic and Video Designer: Christopher Ash

Costume Designer: Rebecca Kanach

Lighting Design: Kate McGee

Sound Designer: Taylor Jedlinski

Production Manager: Calvin Anderson

Stage Manager: Nic Labadie-Bartz

Additional Dramaturgical Support: Sally Ollove

Compositions by Emily Bate, John Jarboe, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler, Be Steadwell

Arrangements by Heath Allen, Emily Bate, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler, and Be Steadwell


Guitar: Emily Bate

Keys: Pax Ressler

Cello: Daniel de Jesús

Drums: Mel Regn

Where Rose is Blooming Next

The Rose Garden

Exhibition created in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum

Spring 2024ーFall 2024

Rose: You Are Who You Eat

Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, Washington, D.C.

June, 2024

Accompanying Installation with Cultural D.C. Mobile Art Gallery, Spring 2024


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