UNEXPLODED ORDNANCES (UXO) By Split Britches Comes to Artists Rep For TBA Festival
Artists Repertory Theatre and PICA's Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival co-present the West Coast premiere of Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) by Split Britches for a five-day engagement during TBA. The limited run of Unexploded Ordnances is September 8 through September 12 on the Alder Stage.
Across Split Britches' 37 years of creating satirical, gender-bending performance, methods for public engagement, videography, digital and print media, explorations of aging and well-being, and iconic lesbian-feminist theatre, they have seen their following expand across both sides of the Atlantic and internationally, from the matchbox stage at New York's WOW Café in 1980, to the 2016 run of RUFF at the Barbican in London. Unexploded Ordnances is shadowed by our geopolitical landscape, yet shot through with Weaver and Shaw's satire, humor, and humanity. Unexploded Ordnances is a performance that brings our personal anxieties about the world as a focus for public discussion.
Adopting the personas of a bombastic general and an ineffectual president, this playfully urgent interactive piece encourages discussion about our political landscape. In the Situation Room, 12 audience members are invited to become a 'Council of Elders' and discuss the global issues of the day, as the company weaves in satirical insights and humor. Combining a Dr. Stranglelove-inspired performance with a daring forum for public conversation, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) explores aging, anxiety, hidden desires, and how to look forward when the future is uncertain. The pioneering theatre-makers see unexploded ordnances as a metaphor for the unexplored potential in elders and hope to uncover buried resources in us all.
Founded in New York in 1980 with Deb Margolin, Split Britches continues with the duo and solo work of Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw which spans satirical, gender-bending performance, methods for public engagement, videography, digital and print media, explorations of aging and well-being, and iconic lesbian-feminist theatre. More information at www.split-britches.com.
Lois Weaver (UXO Co-Writer, Director, Performer) is an artist, activist, and part-time professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary University of London. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater, WOW, and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director, and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980. Recent work includes: Miss America (2008), Lost Lounge (2009), and RUFF (2012). Split Britches' collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theater and Performance Community. Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement (publicaddresssystems.org) include the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy collaborated with senior centers in NYC on What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old and Having Sex which premiered at La MaMa ETC, NYC in November 2014. Lois was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in 2014. She is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Fellow for 2016-18.
Peggy Shaw (UXO Co-Writer, Performer) is a performer, writer, producer, and teacher of writing and performance. She co-founded Split Britches and WOW in NYC. She is a veteran of Hot Peaches and Spiderwoman and has collaborated as writer and performer with Lois Weaver and Split Britches since 1980. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theatre and Performance Community. Peggy has received three NYFA Fellowships and three OBIE Awards, including an OBIE for Performance in 1987 for Dress Suits for Hire, and in 1999 for Menopausal Gentleman. She was the recipient of the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award, and E Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. Her book A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Drama. Peggy was the 2011 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award for the creation of RUFF, a musical collaboration that explores her experiences of having a stroke. Peggy was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance in 2014, an award given to scholars, artists, and activists affiliated with the institute and whose work illustrates the highest achievement in the field of performance and politics. She is the 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award. In 2017, Peggy was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queen Mary University of London for her contribution to theatre and the institution.