Since the late 1970s, Split Britches has created lesbian-feminist theater in the US and Europe. On Wednesday, April 5, company members Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver and Asian-American performance artist Stacy Makishi will bring their brand of deconstructivist theater to MIT for a performance lecture titled "Love in a Post Claustrophobic Era: Reflections on Salad of the Bad Cafï¿½" from 5-7pm in Rm 50-201 (Walker Memorial).
Split Britches celebrates and parodies butch-femme identities in autobiographical cabaret and deconstructed drama, while Ms. Makishi's surreal and visual poetry draws from an eclectic Hawaiian-style aesthetic. Interspersing scenes from Salad of the Bad Cafï¿½, a postmodern cabaret written and performed by the trio with audience discussion and questions and answers, the women will explore the literary, dramatic and thematic territory of the piece.
Salad of the Bad Cafï¿½, inspired by the similarly named Carson McCullers novel and the lives of Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima, offers a treatise on love in a post-claustrophobic era beginning in 1945. The cast is, according to the authors, a collection of "racial, gender and regional stereotypes such as the queer lonesome clown, the drunken homosexual writer, the gender outlaw, the Japanese transformer toy, the homoerotic cowboy, the reluctant lesbian bride, the mutant refugee, the faded southern belle, the geisha and the soldier" who come together to tell a story of unrequited love.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 5, 2000.