Summary: Since 1981, the Split Britches Company (founded by Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, and Deb Margolin, www.splitbritches.com) has written and performed in trio, duet, and solo, as well as collaborated and performed with other artists. They describe their work in this way: 'Our work is rooted in popular culture, but positioned against it. It relies on moments rather than plot, relationships rather than story. It depends on the surprise of transformation rather than the logic of psychological narrative. It straddles the line between performance and theater, exploiting theatricality while exposing the pretense. It is about a community of outsiders, queers, eccentrics. It is feminist because it encourages the imaginative potential in everyone and lesbian because it takes the presence of lesbian on stage as a given.' Their vaudevillian satirical gender-bending performances have received numerous awards, including a Jane Chamber award and four Village Voice OBIE awards. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. This video documents their show Split Britches- The True Story, which marks the initial collaboration of the trio and is the show from which they got their name. Conceived and directed by Lois Weaver, its a show based on true stories of three members of Weavers family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, United States. It also marks the beginning of the companys aesthetic: weaving multiple true stories in one, trusting the details of the everyday and relying on relation rather than action. The Christian Science Monitor called this play a tiny masterpiece.
Credits: Split Britches, producer; Lois Weaver, director, writer.
Credits: Lois Weaver, Peggy Shaw, Deb Margolin.