Legendary actor, producer and playwright Peggy Shaw triumphantly returns to the stage in the world premiere of Ruff. Presented by Performance Space 122 (PS122) and Dixon Place as part of PS122's eighth annual COIL festival, Ruff pays tribute to the host of crooners, lounge singers, movie stars, rock and roll bands and eccentric family members who have kept Shaw company, living inside her, for the past 68 years. Guided by longtime collaborator Lois Weaver, Shaw throws off the stigma of age and embraces the joy-and necessity-of creating new work, post-stroke, aided by new technology and even deeper courage. Shaw is the recipient of the 2011 Ethyl Eichelberger award.
Performances of Ruff will take place January 10-19, 2013 (see schedule above) at Dixon Place (161-A Chrystie Street in Manhattan). Tickets, which are $20, are available online at ps122.org/coil and by phone at 212.811.4111.
Ruff is humorous, musical, and wise. It is also a lament. After her stroke, in 2011, Shaw was given a new perspective on the characters that have populated her work, including those that have disappeared into the dark holes of her brain. But more importantly, and more liberating, Ruff is a celebration of filling that blank space with new insights and Shaw relishes the opportunity to share them with her favorite confidants-the audience.
Performed and co-written by Shaw, and directed and co-written by Weaver, Ruff features choreography by Stormy Brandenberger, music and sound design by Vivian Stoll, lighting design by Lori E. Seid and set and media design by Matt Delbridge.
Peggy Shaw (co-writer, performer) is a performer, writer, producer and teacher of writing and performance. With Lois Weaver, she co-founded Split Britches and the WOW Café in NYC. She has received three OBIE Awards, the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award, and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. A collection of her solo performances, A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won a 2012 Lambda Literary Prize for Drama.
Lois Weaver (co-writer, director) is Professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at Queen Mary University of London and an independent performance artist, director and activist. She has performed, directed, and written with Peggy Shaw since 1980. Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement include the development of the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot.
In addition to their own solo shows, Shaw and Weaver work together in Split Britches, which they cofounded with Deb Margolin in 1981 at NYC's WOW Cafe. Shaw and Weaver have become known for "a long line of smart, thrillingly well-executed performance pieces" (The Village Voice). Split Britches is currently touring with their newest productions: Miss America and Lost Lounge.
Stormy Brandenberger (choreography) is a professor in the Drama Dance Department at Hofstra University and a collaborative choreographer whose modern dance, multimedia collaborations and theater works have toured the U.S. and abroad. She has worked with the Split Britches Company since 1984. Her choreography has been presented at American Place Theater, Cultural Project Theatre, Dixon Place, DTW, Joe's Pub, Ohio Theater, HERE, PS122, Saint Marks Church Performance Space and Urban Stages.
Vivian Stoll (music and sound design) is a musician, audio engineer and music producer. She has created sound and music for five of Split Britches Company's performances. Credits include Laurie Anderson's Big Science, Annabelle Chvostek's Resilience, Penny Lang's Stone & Sand & Sea & Sky, and Rosalie Sorrels's My Last Go Round and Strangers in Another Country, nominated for a 2009 GRAMMY.
Lori E. Seid (lighting design) started her career in the theater as a stage manger, technical director and lighting designer in NYC's downtown club and performance art scene. She has worked with Karen Finley, DANCENOISE, Charles Atlas, Diamanda Galas, Meredith Monk, John Bernd, Penny Arcade, Annie Sprinkle, John Kelly, Blue Man Group, Split Britches, Antony and The Johnsons and Ethyl Eichelberger, to name drop a few. Seid was awarded a Village Voice OBIE, The Theatre Craft International Award and a Bessie -all for sustained overall achievements in theatre. She is an now an independent producer for theatre, film and TV.