Hey, friends. How's that Fringe afterglow treating you? We're feeling (maybe surprisingly?) energized as we roll full steam ahead into EX-GAYS: NOT A STR8 REMOUNT. Last night, we were even on the radio chatting about the show's history, what's changed, and how excited we are to be creating and performing at SpringHouse Ministry Center. (Check it out on KFAI - Fresh Fruit about 34 minutes in on the Aug 17 episode!)
Whenever Savage Umbrella embarks on a new project, we ask ourselves: Why this? Why now? We're always seeking to tease out the most engaging and timely conversations swirling around in our heads and hearts, and that requires constant checking in about where we're at and where we want to go.
Over the next few weeks, we'll start to answer these questions with a few voices from the Creative Team, but we encourage you to come check out the show in September and tell us what this work means to you. We'll kick things off with our fearless director (and Savage Umbrella Artistic Director) Laura Leffler...
I'm having this really funny relationship with revisiting this project. When we did the show the first time around, it was so early in SU history. It felt as though we were still defining ourselves. And it was hugely instrumental (maybe because we produced three different versions of it that summer of 2011 at the Matthews' Park Rec Center, at the MN Fringe, and at Duluth-Superior Pride) in solidifying our identity as a company.
Plus, it was just so fun. I have strong memories of walks to Franklin Freeze, hanging with Amber at Bayfront Park in Duluth at PRIDE, Rachel riding on top of the folded-up lunch table, Tanner's impeccable comedic timing, Hannah's first SU show, Carl and Russ being so dang cute. We were goofballs. We worked to solidify our rehearsal methodology. And seriously, so much Franklin Freeze.
What I don't remember is the apprehension I'm currently feeling. This time around, I feel much differently when listening to the homophobic lines spewing out of the character's mouths. It's still funny, but there's something else there... something that feels like a punch in the gut. Something that, if I'm being 100% honest, scares me.
What's changed? What's different? Maybe it's just that six years have passed. Maybe it's just being a little older and wiser. Maybe it's just being on this side of my own coming out journey. Maybe it's just that on the first day of the new administration back in January the White House's webpage on LGBTQ rights was deleted. Maybe it's just that the POTUS is tweeting about banning trans people from serving in the military. The last thing that civil right's activist Heather Heyer posted on Facebook before being murdered by a white supremacist, domestic terrorist was, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
Maybe it's just that last time, I wasn't paying attention.
I can't believe that a production - even one this funny and campy! - can be a solution to problems. But I do believe it can be a salve to the open-hearts who come to see it. I do believe it can be a good conversation starter. And that's one small thing that we at SU can do; we can start important conversations, and maybe those conversations in a performance space can lead to action out in the streets. And then maybe we can all pay a little more attention.
September 14 - 30, 2017
at SpringHouse Ministry Center
610 West 28th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Written by Eric F. Avery
Directed by Laura Leffler
Created with Savage Umbrella and the ensembles
It's CAMP. It's SATIRE. It's a CAMP SATIRE.
Tickets: $15 - $25, Pick Your Own Price
***** Space is limited, so reserve your tickets today! *****