All-LGBTQ Ensemble Created 6 Fantastic Folk Tales For Pittsburgh

Stacey Federoff / For the slope

Performer Michael Young linked the process to a quote from director Anne Bogart about creation as a violent act. “Every time you make a choice, all the other paths are destroyed,” they said. “It forces you to make decisions very quickly. Although there are challenges, it can still create interesting work. “

Six more performances of the hour-long production are scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday at 3577 Studios on Bigelow Boulevard in Polish Hill. Tickets can be found here, and advance purchase is recommended.

Following a previous production titled “Woman” and “Queer” this week, Folklab has already planned to host the third production of its “In Our Voices” series, “Other: Multiracial folklore”, scheduled for December 12-16.

So what can you expect this weekend? The 20-person audience for each show is led by Tragédie (Gwen Vickinovac) and Comédie (Lis-Perlis) until the opening segment by Matthew Russak. Then the group is split up before being guided through the studio space to see four separate thumbnails, then reunited again for the finale. Some have traditional seats, others do not.

In one segment, performer Princess Jafar stars as a reclusive bird woman, which she says is an allegory of transgender identity and the exploration of homosexuality in private. “I tried to play with the public’s expectations of reality,” she said.

Using paper planes for a similar effect, Young’s piece seems at first glance unremarkable. “Mine started with the idea that gay people just live ordinary lives, so it’s happening in my apartment, following the routine of life,” they said. “Form this with the grand story element… it starts to get a bit surreal and is interrupted by this extraordinary event. “

Courtesy of Adrie Fells / Folklab

In other segments, Olivia Wahlberg asks the audience to participate in the development of new commandments in the Jewish tradition.

Olivia Wahlberg rehearses their segment of "Queer: New American Tales" which addresses the creation of new commandments in the Jewish tradition.
Stacey Federoff / For the slope

Gia Fagnelli uses audio and video elements through headphones to convey isolation. Being able to adapt to different parts of identity at different times fostered “self-confidence and loneliness,” they said.

Headphones and spotlights are ready for audience members to participate in Gia Fagnelli's segment.
Stacey Federoff / For the slope

For the finale, Hawkins wonders how to present his identity by choosing an outfit in the face of death at a party during the apocalypse.

Harry J. Hawkins IV performed a dance-steeped piece about choosing an outfit for a party during the apocalypse to reflect identity in the face of death.
Courtesy of Adrie Fells / Folklab

All of this allows the public to experience Folklab’s standards of fair representation, compensation and access to the performing arts firsthand. Lis-Perlis said fairness means accessibility, not only for the public to share the art, but also for various artists with full-time jobs and backgrounds in different types of performances.

“We need more work. We need a canon. We need more archetypes created by underrepresented and poorly represented people, so that we can have that fairness that everyone deserves, ”she said.

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