Welcome to Peggy Shaw’s Book Launch

A Menopausal Gentleman:  The Solo Performances of Peggy

Obie-award-winning performer and writer Peggy Shaw has been playing her gender-bending performances on Off Broadway, regional, and international stages for three decades. Co-founder of the renowned troupe Split Britches, Shaw has gone on to create memorable solo performances that mix achingly honest introspection with campy humor, reflecting on everything from her Irish-American working-class roots to her aging butch body.

This collection of Shaw’s solo performance scripts evokes a 54-year-old grandmother who looks like a 35-year-old man (in her classic Menopausal Gentleman); a mother’s ambivalent ministrations to a daughter she treated like a son (in the raw You’re Just Like My Father); Shaw’s love for her biracial grandson, for whom she models masculinity (in the musically punctuated To My Chagrin); and a mapping of her body’s long, bittersweet history (in the lyrical Must: The Inside Story, a collaboration with the UK’s Clod Ensemble).

The book also includes a selection of Shaw’s other classic monologues and an extensive introduction by Jill Dolan, Professor of English and Theater and Dance at Princeton University and the blogger behind The Feminist Spectator website.

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About Split Britches

Split Britches was founded 30 years ago by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin. Since 1980 we have transformed the landscape of queer performance with our vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performance. Split Britches creates new forms by exploiting old conventions. It borrows from classical texts and popular myths, but its true sources are the details of everyday life. The work is personal, bordering on the private. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics – feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone, and lesbian because it takes the presence of a lesbian on stage as a given.
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