Queer Cat Productions Produces a Showcase of THE GAY DIVORCE PLAY
Queer Cat Productions is the brainchild of Carson Beker, Nara Dahlbacka, and Nicole Jost -who met as MFA students at San Francisco State University. All three are award winning playwrights who wanted to break the mold of the traditional theatre company. QCP does just that, by creating playful, perspective-queering, boundary-pushing theater and immersive experiences at the intersection of theater, games, and storytelling. We are committed to curiosity about evolving forms; haunting: memory, resilience, genre-fluidity; and to the spirit of play, as interactive and consensual, as a space for risk and spectacular failure, as stories that we co-create, storytellers and audience, and that create us in return.
This year, Queer Cat Productions received several grants and found its first home, winning a coveted place in PlayGround SF's Innovator Incubator program. 3Girls Theatre Company also gave The Gay Divorce Play an innovation development award to present a 30 minute taste of the show at the Google Community Space on June 13th. This production also received funding through Theatre Bay Area's CA$H grant program.
The Gay Divorce Play is co-written by Carson Beker and Nicole Jost, with Genevieve Jessee. Nikki Meñez directs.
A Full Showcase Production will be held in August at Potrero Stage (1695 -18th Street) in San Francisco. Performances are August 15-25, 2019 Thursdays-Saturdays @ 8pm, Sundays @ 7pm. Tickets are $26.50.
The Gay Divorce Play is an interactive theater ritual of a queer marriage dissolution party. TJ (the rational one) and Luz (the woo one) have invited you, their friends, to celebrate their divorce. And you said you would come.
The Gay Divorce Play is an interactive immersive play in which audience members play the friends, lovers, and community of the divorcing couple, TJ and Luz. The play has four actors: TJ, Luz, The Officiant, and The Bitchy Inner Monologue, who is played by a puppet. As they arrive at the theater, which is now TJ and Luz's Living Room, audience members will be sorted into different characters according to how they answer particular questions ("Coffee or Kombucha?"; "Do you like to dance?"). Each character has at least one chance to interact with the play or not, triggering different scenes - moments in the couple's life or in the present - making the play different each night. At the end of the evening, the audience as a whole will have a chance to vote on whether or not the couple should go through with the divorce, or stay together.
Carson Beker says, "We asked ourselves at every point, 'What makes this play queer?' And that question opened up all kinds of new shapes, storytelling, and collaborative possibilities. We had to invent a whole new language to talk about the structure of the play, and we like to think it's kind of a love language."
Nicole Jost says, "The Bay Area has a strong LGBTQ community with a rich history and deep roots. We wanted to engage that community with boundary-pushing, genre-defying art that not only presents queer characters, but 'queers' storytelling itself."
The experience lasts about two hours, during which time audience members will be called upon to bear witness, take sides, misbehave, eat, drink, and consider: What is a queer marriage? Is marriage queer? Can you fall out of love? What does it mean to be monstrous in a relationship? What is queer intimacy? What is love? And what does it mean when two people who once loved one another separate or when a play ends: are we a community of friends, colleagues, and families, or are we just strangers in a room?