A solo performance by Peggy Shaw, directed by Lois Weaver

Peggy Shaw has always had a host of crooners, lounge singers, movie stars, rock and roll bands, and eccentric family members living inside her. Ruff is a tribute to those who have kept Shaw company over the last 68 years, a lament for the absence of those who disappeared into the dark holes left behind by her recent stroke, and a celebration that her brain is able to fill the blank green screens with new insight.

‘She makes us chuckle, then teases those chuckles into guffaws as she draws us under the skin of her very being, until suddenly you realise that you’re on the verge of unsuspected tears.’ – Herald, Scotland

‘an impressionistic monologue that’s engaging, admirably unsentimental and often very funny indeed.’– Charles Isherwood, New York Times

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm            Buy Tickets

Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm      Buy Tickets

Daniels Spectrum – Ada Slaight Hall (585 Dundas St. East)

$25 General Admission/$20 Students/PWD

Split Britches

Pioneers of the queer and feminist theatre movements, Split Britches Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver have defined a generation of performance. For thirty years, their work has challenged assumptions about femininity, sexuality, traditional theatre culture, and recently, ageing and disability.

“Our purpose has been to keep a sense of humor, to remain the outlaw, to question ‘normal,’ and to work within the margins of the margins.” -Split Britches

Lois Weaver (Director & Co-Writer, Ruff)

Lois WeaverLois Weaver lectures in Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary University of London and is an independent performance artist, director, and activist.  She was co- founder of Spiderwoman Theatre and the WOW Café Theatre in New York City and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop Theatre in London.  Lois has been a performer, director, and writer with the Split Britches Company since 1980. Her interests include live art, solo performance, feminist and lesbian theatre and performance, and human rights.

She was involved in Staging Human Rights, a People’s Palace Project initiative that used performance-based practices to explore human rights in women’s prisons in Brazil and the United Kingdom, which inspired an international conference and festival on the themes of performance and human rights for which Lois was the Artistic Director.

Lois is currently Artistic Director of the Air Project, an Arts Council of England funded initiative that nurtures and sustains established Live Art practitioners and emerging artists in the UK.  She was principal investigator on Democratising Technology, a research project that uses performance techniques to initiate conversations on technology design.

She continues to collaborate with the Curious company on two projects: On The Scent, an investigation of the relationship between smell and memory, and Lost and Found, a human portrait of urban regeneration.

Lois tours with experiments in public engagement such as The Long Table and What Tammy Needs To Know, and Split Britches’ latest collaborations, Miss America, RetroPerspective, and Lost Lounge.

 Peggy Shaw (Performer & Co-Writer Ruff)

Peggy headshotPeggy Shaw is an actor, writer and producer. She co-founded the Split Britches Theater Company with Lois Weaver and the WOW Café Theatre in New York City.  Peggy has also been a collaborator, writer, and performer with Spiderwoman Theater and Hot Peaches Theater.  She played Billy Tipton in the American Place production of Carson Kreitzer’s The Slow Drag.

Recently, Split Britches were a part of Staging Human Rights, where they worked in prisons in Rio de Janeiro and England prior to being Artists in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NYU).

They were associate artists on the Clod Ensembles’ Performing Medicine project, which created workshops on gender and difference for medical students and health professionals.  As part of this project Peggy created a new piece, in collaboration with The Clod Ensemble, MUST:  The Inside Story, poetically examining the inside of her aging queer body, which she performed and toured in lecture and anatomy theaters.

Following this work, Split Britches received a commissioning grant from Dixon Place to perform their new piece Lost Lounge in New York City, prior to an artist residency at the University of Richmond, Virgina.

For her work with the company, Peggy has received 3 OBIE Awards for performances in Dress Suits To HireBelle Reprieve, and Menopausal Gentleman.  She has also won the New York Foundation for the Arts Award for Emerging Forms in 1988, 1995, 1999, and 2005; the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award for “excellence in making the world a better place for gays and lesbians;” and a 2003 Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theatre. The Foundation for Contemporary Performance recently awarded Peggy with Theatre Performer of the Year.

Michigan Press has published a new book on Peggy, edited by Jill Dolan, which includes the scripts for her three solo shows You’re Just Like My FatherMenopausal Gentleman and To My Chagrin, and will also include the script MUST:  The Inside Story.

Peggy is a freelance teacher of writing and performance around the world and has been awarded the PS122 Ethyl Eichelberger award for 2011.

Want to learn more about Split Britches?