June 25 & 26
Love is Queer! The Gay American Songbook
Emily G. Park/ethaerial arts
The Theater at The Children’s Creativity Museum
(Age 18+ only)
Tickets: $15-25 NOTA
Brown Paper Tickets Link for June 25th Performance: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/671090
Brown Paper Tickets Link for June 26th Performance: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/671096
Love is Queer! The Gay American Songbook mixes music with circus and drag to theatrically reinterpret classic cabaret standards into a genre bending and gender blending celebration of the essential queerness of love. Swinging between heartache and hope and teasing new meanings out of old, familiar songs Love is Queer! features San Francisco’s classiest drag celebrity, jazz songstress Honey Mahogany (HBO’s Looking; RuPaul’s Drag Race), one-of-a-kind, aerial chanteuse M.Lee (Topsy Turvy, NQAF 2013) plus an insanely talented ensemble of multi-disciplinary, queer artists. Strike up the band, come to the cabaret, and run away to the circus all at once while reveling in the carnival of love! LiQ! is a production of ethaerial arts, devising inspirational live performance with artistry and humor. Launched with a Creating Queer Community grant from the QCC and made with generous support from Kinetic Arts Center, the East Bay’s best choice for “circus, fitness and inspiration.”
Emily G. Park (M.Lee) is a multi-disciplinary performing artist, whose aerial feats as Connie Artiste, the opera singing, faux queen, trapeze artist (in high heels!) made a fierce impression in last year’s festival hit Topsy Turvy: a Queer Circus Extravaganza. She has wowed audiences at Counterpulse’s May Day Festival, Kinetic Arts Center’s Love Cabaret, supperclub’s dinner theatre, and elsewhere including the 2012 Faux Queen Pageant, and Trannyshack New Year’s Eve. Connie’s other half Art Kahn is known for taking the crown in the 2013 San Francisco Drag King Contest with an homage to Freddie Mercury supported by his air band The Kings of Queen. e/M.Lee has creatively collaborated with and/or performed for local companies: Antenna Theater, Dark Garden, Earth Circus, Eat Cake Productions, Epiphany Sonic Dance Theater, Seth Eisen/Eye Zen Presents, Flynn Creek Circus, and Jessica Ferris Performance variously as an actor, aerialist, dancer, choreographer, director, designer-maker, singer, and stilts performer. She was a featured performer, commissioned designer, and toured for three years with the award-winning Giffords Circus (UK) and was the only American out of a hundred aerialists who performed in Britain’s Millennium Dome, the world’s largest tented structure, now known as the O2 Arena. Emily is happy creating work for more intimate consumption and has made her home for the past ten years in Oakland, where she teaches and trains circus at Kinetic Arts Center. As Artistic Director of ethaerial arts she works collaboratively to devise theatre from a fusion of genres and creates provocative, live performance art to entertain and inspire. http://www.ethaerialarts.com
Honey Mahogany is an international drag performer and budding recording artist. The currently reigning Miss Blow Up USA initially gained worldwide fame as a cast member on season five of the reality television show and cult phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Honey is a prolific performer and popular MC, including Topsy Turvy: A Queer Circus Extravaganza in both 2013 and 2014. This Queen Bee hosts her own weekly drag show in The Castro called Mahogany Mondays at the Midnight Sun and earlier this year was a celebrity judge at the 15th annual Trannyshack Star Search competition. No stranger to hard werk Honey has also appeared in numerous theatrical productions including Dirty Little Showtunes, the title role in Oprah: The Dragsical, and many events by Peaches Christ Productions: Halloween: The Ballad of Michelle Meyers, The Craft, Showgirls, plus Martha, Martha and Work MORE! collaborative drag/performance art works directed and curated by Mica Sigourney/Vivvyanne Forevermore. In Fall of 2012 Honey Mahogany performed in Manchester, England in support of trixxie carr: The Right to Rule at the Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival, a part of the UK’s Cultural Olympiad.
Honey’s debut EP Honey Love, a collection of songs written and produced by Honey Mahogany in collaboration with Erik Ian Walker of Wako World Music, was released in February 2014. The single Shoulda Known Better gained national attention when Honey made a cameo appearance to perform it on episode four of the HBO series Looking. The music video for that single was shot in the legendary cabaret venue Martuni’s where Honey has also performed her Honey Love live in concert. Honey’s flawless looks have graced the covers of both the SF Weekly and Bay Guardian in 2011 when she was voted Best Drag Queen in the SF Weekly’s Readers’ Poll and selected for the SF Bay Guardian’s Hot Pink List of Queers to Watch in the Guardian’s Queer Issue. In 2010 Honey’s premiere single, a cover of Adele’s Hometown Glory was recognized by Limelight, a lead song licensing company, as one of the Best Cover Songs of the Year. Honey Mahogany continues to grow as a performing artist and appreciates her ever-growing community of fans and followers. Honey’s music and videos can be found online at SoundCloud, ReverbNation, and YouTube. http://itshoney.com/
Jay Very, B.F.A, M.A.T, is Co-Founder and Director of Tongue in Chic Gallery, a sex worker and BDSM inclusive community that empowers transgender and gender variant identified people who work as artists and entrepreneurs. Tongue in Chic Gallery is fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts. Jay uses film, self-portraiture, sculpture, installation, performance and musical composition to reflect on societal constructs around gender, kink and sexuality. He hosts and promotes queer, sex-positive events that spread awareness about underserved and stigmatized populations in an effort to empower and build solidarity among communities. Jay has studied cello for 20 years, has played in orchestras throughout his life, and has written a rock opera called, Wild Card that will premier later this year. www.tongeinchicgallery.org
J. Althea recently returned to the Bay Area after thirty-six years working in Alaska as a professional pianist, theatre and music director, actress, and piano teacher. She founded the Northern Lights Junior Theatre in Juneau, Alaska and served over five hundred youth during her sixteen-year tenure as Artistic Director. Althea plays a wide range of musical styles including: ragtime, 1920’s early jazz, boogie-woogie, jazz standards, classic Broadway, gospel, classic country, and satirical tunes in any style. You can catch her performing with her all-female 50’s rock satire band, The Graceland Girls.
Cat Bodnar is a versatile aerialist, acrobat, and dancer who brings a curiosity about creative movement to all her adventures on the ground and in the air. She completed the two-year professional training program at the New England Center for Circus Arts and since has honed her craft under the umbrella of different artistic collaborations, notably with longstanding NECCA partner Colleen McKeown, and locally with fellow dancer/aerialist Colin Epstein. Although she has a fondness for the unique challenges of working as part of an aerial duo, Cat is also an expressive soloist whose style is singularly fluid and graceful on all manner of aerial apparatuses, including single point, static, and doubles trapeze, rope, aerial fabric, and hoop. She is proud to have recently lent her talents to Purple: a Circus Tribute to Prince, in support of Veronica Blair’s The Uncle Junior Project, a documentary film chronicling the living history of African American circus performers. Cat teaches and trains at Kinetic Arts Center in Oakland.
Travis Santell Rowland is an interdisciplinary performing artist, choreographer, and arts educator. He holds BA degrees in both Drama (Popular Theatre) and Dance (Performance and Choreography) from San Francisco State University where he served as Student Artistic Director for the University Dance Theater in 2005/6, and was honored by the School of Music and Dance with the award of Outstanding Student in Performance. His solo performance and choreography of Residual Sugar (2006) was featured in the American College Dance Festival Association’s Southwest Regional Conference Gala Awards Concert in January 2007. He began training in hip hop dance, went on to study modern and contemporary forms, and is currently hired for projects under his creative entity TrAvIsMoVeS. The breadth of his performance experience spans the mediums of hip hop, modern dance, acrobatic and physical dance, musical and children’s theatre, drag (as Qween), film, opera, and site-specific art. His active athletic background includes competitive gymnastics, wrestling, football, track, baseball, swimming, volleyball, and kickboxing. By invitation he has performed for Paco Gomes and Dancers, Della Davidson’s Sideshow Physical Theatre, Emily Keeler, Printz Dance Project, TalisMANIC Physical Theatre, Aura Fischbeck Dance, Natalie Greene, Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble, Jetta Martin, Cathleen McCarthy and Dancers, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Erling Wold’s Fabrications, Raissa Simpson’s Push Dance Company, requisitedance, Funsch Dance Experience, Amie Dowling, Crowded Fire Theater, Urban Opera, DavEnd, in Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge at the Magic Theatre, and in The Tempest for Cal Shakes. Presently, he enjoys performing as a creative collaborator and company member with Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre, the Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project, and the House of Glitter. In September 2014, Travis will be returning to Cal Shakes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a performer and collaborating choreographer. Facebook.com/travismoves
Seeley Quest is a mixed class, trans writer and performer who has organized, MC’d, and performed in events around the Bay Area since 2001 including at the International Queerness and Disability Conference, the National Queer Arts Festival, Counterpulse, the Center for Sex and Culture, and with Sins Invalid at Brava Theater and Z Space. Sie features in the 2013 documentary of the Sins Invalid project, has co-facilitated workshops on disability for queer, feminist and anarchist audiences. Sie has also toured to Vancouver and Toronto, Canada, to L.A. for Trans/Giving, to NYC for the Stages Transgender Theater Festival, and numerous other US cities and colleges. Seeley is next exploring sharing art from a new home with permaculturists outside of the urban East Bay.
Apaulo Hart specializes in erotic visual and performance art and works hard to encompass all-gender-visibility focusing on the link between sexuality and spirituality. His current body of work sheds light on inspirational sex workers in the queer community and aims to create space for discussions about the impact these overlooked individuals have on our society. Apaulo has had solo exhibitions at Resurrect, Black and Blue Tattoo, and Eros and his work in myriad mediums can be found in various art collections around the Bay Area. He go-go dances as the mischievous sprite Puck Goodfellow and has performed burlesque with Sheba Queen of The Night for Seduction Feroce Burlesque and at Tourettes Without Regrets in Oakland. He trained with Jaron Hollander at Kinetic Arts Center in circus rope and has been seen tying himself up in knots in the circus cabaret Watch the Throne a benefit for Veronica Blair’s documentary about African American circus performers called The Uncle Junior Project. http://apauloarthart.blogspot.com/ http://puckplay.blogspot.com/
Logan De Ley is an aerialist and visual artist. As a painfully shy transgender youth, Logan became adept at the art of disappearing, and later mastered the art of blending-in as a young adult FTM. His current project is learning to be fully embodied and step into the spotlight as a circus performer. He has trained and performed circus at Kinetic Arts Center, Studio 12, and Millerton Gardens. Logan has been involved in the Bay Area’s transgender community for over 10 years and was a founding member of the Lou Sullivan Society.
Bryce Wolfe is an artist, writer, and waterer-of-plants who has a B.A. in Journalism for Health & Science and served in Peace Corps – Kyrgyzstan from 2011 to 2013, where Wolfe picked up skills in grant writing, community development, project management, and fundraising, as well as felt-making and bazaar negotiations. Wolfe currently resides in Oakland, CA and free lances as an editor, language tutor and graphic designer. Along with co-founder Jay Very, Wolfe is one-half of Tongue in Chic Gallery that is a fiscally sponsored project of the Intersection for the Arts and exists to empower and celebrate the lives of Queer and Transgender Artistic Entrepreneurs. http://alyricalmess.deviantart.com http://www.tongueinchicgallery.org
Crystal Why is a drag artist and theatrical performer with a wealth of experience both on stage and behind the scenes. She worked for more than a decade in Philadelphia drag and theatre communities for Dumpsta Players, Uncut Productions, Ocelot on a Leash, Evil Eye Arts, the Five Minute Follies, and on various Fringe Festival productions. A recent transplant to the Bay Area, she is thrilled to have had the chance work her multi-tasking magic for both the Boxcar Theater’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and SF Rocky Horror’s flagship production. She was house manager for Virago’s Lesbian Vampires of Sodom and occasionally can be seen in the glitz cabaret Meow Mix at the Stud.
Abigail Baird & Andy Cook’s acrobatic partnership began in the sand and sun of the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, a place with a long, rich history of outdoor acrobatic performances since the 1930’s. Being based in the Bay Area now affords them the pleasure of training in San Francisco with renowned Chinese acrobatics coach Master Lu Yi. Andy and Abigail have developed their own acrobatic performance style inspired by all facets of how people relate to each other through the common experiences of daily life. They are longstanding allies to the queer community and maintain an association with Wise Fool, who use art and theatre as vehicles for community building, self-determination, social and political change. Since 2007 Abigail has toured with Wise Fool New Mexico’s Circus Lumimous performing and teaching physical theatre and aerial arts, puppetry, stilt walking and acrobatics. Andy joined in 2011 teaching hand-to-hand balancing, and performing Cyr wheel and partner acrobatics with Abigail. Abigail also teaches at Kinetic Arts Center in Oakland and oversees their children’s circus program. Andy has appeared as a back-up dancer and acrobat for the popular drag king group The Momma’s Boyz in their performance at the 2012 17th annual SF Drag King Contest. In January 2014 their act “Hold On/Let Go” was featured in the cabaret at the first annual Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival after being selected from a competitive pool of over 200 applicants. They also performed both as a duo and as soloists in the annual holiday circus cabaret “Mittens and Mistletoe” produced by San Francisco’s homegrown circus company Sweet Can Productions. http://www.andyandabigail.com