Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland
Forest Theatre, Greenside @ Infirmary Street
Previews 4th – 6th August 2017 @ 16:05
Run 7th -26th August 2017 @ 16:05
(No performances Sundays, except 6 August)
Tickets On Sale Now!
BEFORE EDINBURGH, NYC Previews
(a double bill with JOY DONZE: 13 & Not Pregnant)
The Secret Theatre
4402 23rd St, Long Island City
Previews 27th-29th July 2017 @ 19:30
Tickets On Sale Now!
Set against a backdrop of small-town gossip amplified by social media, limitless shame, and the hell-fire of the confession booth, WHORE: A Kid’s Play is a darkly funny account of the pressures to be both normal and exceptional in a world hostile to misfit girls and queer boys, when nothing is quite so momentous as friendship, nor so utterly monstrous as ourselves.
Jenn, 13, wants two things from God: 1) to be pretty, and 2) for Andrea to be her best friend. Jenn’s arch-nemesis, Patrick, dutifully preps for the Junior Regional Spelling Bee – though what he really wants is to dance. Meanwhile, Andrea, also 13, just wants someone to tell her if she’s still a virgin after those awkward encounters with Jenn’s douchey stepbrother over summer break.
Making their way through an obstacle course of double-standards, internalized sexism, and impossible beauty regimes, the three discover that what they need in life is an accomplice.
“Reese (Thompson) is a truly original new voice in the theatre — exploring areas no one else is, saying things no one else would, and finding both humor and meaning in the madness of contemporary life. To be so unique in outlook and talented in execution is beyond rare in emerging artists. His work speaks to our moment with deep wit and insight, and is always a theatrical delight.”
— Christopher Shinn (author Four, Dying City, and Teddy Ferrara)
“Cinderella, dressed in yella,
Went upstairs to kiss her fella,
Made a mistake and kissed a snake,
How many doctors did it take…
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7–”
– Reese Thompson, Playwright, WHORE: A Kid’s Play
Shall we “unpack” this…. I’m pretty sure we are talking about abortion here. Do you recall playing this “innocent” clapping game when you were child? What did it make you feel? What did it make you do? What did it teach you? I guarantee that your younger self reacted much differently and was unaware that this rhyme was commenting on rape culture.
I'm writing these director's notes on January 20th, 2017. It's the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Millions of people, are marching in protest of his At this moment it occurs to me that WHORE: A Kid’s Play has become painfully more relevant. It examines the pressures of gender performance in American society and how it robs us of individuality and shapes our development.
Judith Butler once said, “We act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that is simply true about us, a fact about us, but actually it’s a phenomenon that is being produced all the time and reproduced all the time, so to say gender is performative is to say that nobody really is a gender from the start.”
WHORE: A Kid’s Play confronts the consequences of gender performance in modern culture through a satirical and approachable lens. As society continues to speed up with the advent of new technology and we become more and more dependent on the media as a model of self worth, the human race is becoming emotionally stunted. We are incapable of processing what is happening around us, therefore people become reactionary which leads to the creation of chaos and destruction of relationships and culture.
I feel extremely fortunate to have met Reese Thompson in the MFA graduate program at the New School for Drama. We have discovered an unexpected artistic kinship over the past several years that is entirely fulfilling. Reese is relentless in his examination of what we have come to accept as social norms. I got my first taste of WHORE in during our first year in the program. The initial iteration was only 10 minutes, but upon hearing the piece it became apparent that Reese was navigating unexplored territory in highly inventive and theatrical way. There was something entirely nostalgic and disturbing in the text that I was aching to unlock.
The physical life of WHORE is like none other that I have encountered and lends itself to a highly devised and collaborative approach. Much of the underlying pain and irony that exists in the story is expressed through physical language as opposed to text which is unique to Reese’s work. As a director I am a firm advocate of cultivating an inclusive rehearsal environment where every participants ideas are valued. WHORE has lived several lives with a variety of casts and it has revealed the universal connection that this play speaks to. Our cast is comprised of three beautifully generous actors, Matthew Bovee, Joy Donze and Erin Margaret Pettigrew. I have has the great pleasure of working with them all multiple times and am elated to be working with all three on this project. Their collective energy is like a bomb that is waiting to explode with rainbow sparkles. Our producer Kevin is one of the kindest and most driven human beings I have encountered. Without his belief in this project we would not be where we are today.
WHORE is an aggressive and thrilling piece of theatre, but it is also a deeply sentimental and touching story about the trials and tribulations of growing up in the modern world.
Margaret Grace Hee
Director, WHORE: A Kid’s Play
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