List of Works

Below is a complete list of works that chronicles the Split Britches repertoire.  Works are organized by most recent date, include a brief summary of the production, and credits for performance contributions.  Whenever possible, an image from the original show program is included with the performance summary via the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library.

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Lost Lounge (2009)

Lost Lounge is a tribute to last holdouts–both the people and the places people gather to face or fend off encroaching cultural extinction. Recreating their favorite lounge acts like Louis Prima and Keely Smith, Mike Nichols, and Elaine May, Shaw and Weaver attempt to rescue some old haunts of the newly gentrified Bowery Corridor and resurrect some old entertainers who, except for an occasional outing on You-tube, might otherwise fade into a black and white memory.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, Sound and music by Vivien Stoll, Choreography by Stormy Brandenberger.

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MISS AMERICA (2008)

In MISS AMERICA, Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver turn their unapologetic critique and riotous humor loose on the dissolution of the American Dream. A beauty pageant on a landfill full of too much information in the midst of a giant storm, MISS AMERICA exposes what is lost in a society that is still hopelessly clinging to winning.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, Sound and music by Vivien Stoll, Choreography by Stormy Brandenberger.

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MUST:  The Inside Story (2007)

Must is a poetic look at what it feels like to have a body. It excavates the memories and images contained in the joints and layers of bone.  Inspired by images from Gulliver’s Travels, Hildegarde von Bingen, The Elephant Man and everyday experiences of the medical profession, Must takes a hard stare at the medical gaze and the assumptions people make about each others bodies.  Written by Peggy Shaw in collaboration with the Clod Ensemble.

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What Tammy Needs To Know (2004)

What Tammy Needs To Know is a performance installation that incorporates autobiographical text, original music and a trailer trash crash course on art, Tupperware and new math conducted by country western singer turned lesbian performance artist, Tammy WhyNot.  Written and performed by Lois Weaver. Music by Paul Clark.

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To My Chagrin (2003)

To My Chagrin matches Shaw with drummer Vivian Stoll to create a tender rock n’ roll lullaby from a cross-dressing grandma to her mixed-race grandson. An old run down pick up truck, R & B soul classics, and video projects of her beloved grandson make for a piece of rowdy humor and social criticism.  Written by Peggy Shaw in collaboration with Vivien Stoll and directed by Lois Weaver and performed by Peggy Shaw and Vivien Stoll.

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DOUBLE AGENCY:  “It’s a Small House and We Lived in it Always” and “Miss Risqué” (2002)

In It’s a Small House and We Lived in it Always, two explorers lay claim to the same territory. These people have known each other for a long time. They occupy a house the size of a small stage, a house divided and subdivided by time and bad habits. They sit on the porch, watch the horizon, and wait for the weather to change. Their only hope is an audience.  Written by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver,  Suzy Willson, and Paul Clark.  Directed by Suzy Willson.  Performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

Miss Risqué is a story of secrets and showgirls in turn-of-the-century Paris, where working-class girls could become rich and famous, prostitutes could pass for nobility, women could have open affairs with women, and sex wasn’t exclusive to the marital bed.  Written by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver, Suzy Willson, Paul Clark.  Performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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Miss Risqué (2001)

Miss Risqué is a story of secrets and showgirls in turn-of-the-century Paris, where working-class girls could become rich and famous, prostitutes could pass for nobility, women could have open affairs with women, and sex wasn’t exclusive to the marital bed.  Written by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches and Suzy Willson and Paul Clark of Clod Ensemble and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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It’s a Small House and We Lived in it Always (1999)

In It’s a Small House and We Lived in it Always, two explorers lay claim to the same territory. These people have known each other for a long time. They occupy a house the size of a small stage, a house divided and subdivided by time and bad habits. They sit on the porch, watch the horizon, and wait for the weather to change. Their only hope is an audience.  Written by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches and Suzy Willson and Paul Clark of Clod Ensemble, directed by Suzy Willson and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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Salad of the Bad Café (1999-2000)

Salad of the Bad Café is a postmodern cabaret inspired by Carson McCullers’ novel Salad of the Sad Café and the lives of Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima. The play begins in 1945, a period of confusion in postwar Japan and the American South. A cast of characters who represent race, gender, and regional stereotypes include the drunken homosexual writer, the mutant refugee, the geisha, and the faded southern belle. The piece combines poetry, visual humour and dance in an attempt to demystify the Queer, disorientate the Orient and dymythify the Southern Gothic and the American Grotesque.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver, and Stacy Makishi.

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Faith and Dancing (1996)

Faith and Dancing, Lois Weaver’s autobiographical journey from an early life growing up a strict Southern Baptist in 1950’s Virginia to lesbian femme in the 1990’s. In Weaver’s exploration, faith meets science and sermons meets striptease and she reconciles how a youthful evangelist became an aging exhibitionist.  Written and performed by Lois Weaver.

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Menopausal Gentleman (1996)

Menopausal Gentleman is Peggy Shaw’s bluesy, pseudo-stream-of-consciousness lounge act about a butch lesbian going through “the change.” Shaw riffs on the hormonal effects of menopause complete with hot flashes, cold sweats, humor and tears.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and directed by Rebecca Taichman.

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Lust and Comfort (1994)

Lust and Comfort uses three story lines to examine the ups and downs of a long term relationship and the changing terrain of sexual desire. Using cross-dressing characters and movie references to “The Servant” and “The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant,” Shaw and Weaver address how lesbians invent their lives out of popular heterosexual cultural references. Written by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and James Neale Kennerely and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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You’re Just Like My Father (1993)

In You’re Just Like My Father Shaw pieces together the challenges of growing up butch in the 1950’s with a combination of both toughness and vulnerability. Using male role models such as an Army officer and Elvis, Shaw explores the controversial relationship between a butch and her mother, offering both affirmation and criticism. Written and performed by Peggy Shaw.

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Lesbians Who Kill (1992)

In Lesbians Who Kill, Shaw and Weaver are May and June, a couple who go very “wrong.” The play looks at what might motivate women and lesbians in particular to become killers and serial ones at that.  Written by Deb Margolin in collaboration with Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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Belle Reprieve (1990)

Collaborating with legendary gay/drag performers Bloolips, Shaw and Weaver take on Tennessee Williams’ “Streetcar Named Desire” and the mythic proportions of Stanley and Blanche. Both steamy and hysterical, Belle Reprieve looks at gay and lesbian sex in the 1940’s and both honors Williams and turns him on his head. Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches and Bette Bourne and Paul Shaw of Bloolips.

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Anniversary Waltz (1990)

Anniversary Waltz is compilation of duets celebrating the ten year anniversary of Peggy Shaw and Lois Weavers live/work relationship.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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Little Women:  The Tragedy (1988)

Inspired by the life and work of the Louisa Mae Alcott Little Women, The Tragedy explores the chills and thrills of feminism, pornography and censorship.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver, and Deb Margolin.

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Dress Suits for Hire (1987)

Dress Suits for Hire uses images from pulp fiction and film noir to portray the erotic cat and mouse relationship between characters Deluxe and Michigan, two women who live in a clothing store. Heated fantasies, brassy broads and sexual charades make for a carnivorous free-for-all.  Written by Holly Hughes in collaboration with Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver.

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Upwardly Mobile Home (1984)

A troupe of actors plot how to survive in Reagan’s 1984 America while camping out under the Brooklyn Bridge in a contest to win a mobile home.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin.

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Beauty and the Beast (1982)

A post modern vaudeville that tackles the binaries of the beauty and the beast and  takes on subjects such as Reagan, religion, the arms race,  Johnny Cash’s face, queer love and father-daughter relationships presented  by an unlikely troupe of characters including  a salvation army sargeant, an aging lesbian vaudevillian and a female rabbi in ballet shoes.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin.

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Split Britches, the True Story (1980)

A tender and ridiculous portrait of three of Weaver’s eccentric aunts who lived in their own in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in the 1930’s. The  Christain Science Monitor called this signature performance  ‘a tiny masterpiece’.  Written and performed by Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver and Deb Margolin.

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One Response to List of Works

  1. Pingback: Other Voices | SHSU Theatre History 2

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