La MaMa Blogs: 6 Questions: Beth Graczyk

Monday, November 11, 2019

6 Questions: Beth Graczyk

1. What does the world of Virgo Star look like?
The world of Virgo Star is like a queer cowboy/girl dreamscape. Classic scenes turned inside out, to allow the queer undertones embedded in these stories to emerge from the westerns we grew up watching. Sensual, playful, with dark undertones VS brings us into the dissonances and revelations of queer stories including the homoerotic, longing, shame, violence, and chivalry.

2. What can the audiences learn about love in Virgo Star? 
I hope audiences will feel open to reimagining the paradigms that we take for granted including the western and look further at stories that present a certain heteronormative paradigm to open up to seeing other possibilities.

3. How can you explode the myth of the American Cowboy? 
That's a tough question. I wouldn't claim to have any real answer to this one, but I do think the practice of re-imagining narratives that are pressed into our brains around romanticized masculinity is a good place to start. What if the American Cowboy was a kind of skin suit you could enter in and allow yourself to fill the interior with your own unique particularities of sexuality, gender, and desire? I think that might have some explosive qualities, and infinite variations, which is always my favorite. Reminds me of a hearty quote shared with me by my mentor Torben Ulrich:

"That is, it's the way the Talmudist would read the same little scene, or dialogue with a capacity for interpretations which is many, many fold. There's no conclusive version, there are a hundred versions. And this is most important. Now, when I look at anything that happens in reality, any kind of event, I want a hundred versions of it". - Helene Cixous, Live Theory

In re-imagining the American Cowboy, perhaps there could be numerous expressions, variations, and that we could re-live a single scene over and over again simply by the different ways that these "cowboys" are expressed which includes as many variations of being-ness that we conjure, only finding an edge at the limits of our imagination.

4. Have you learned anything new from this production?
I continue to learn about the satisfying process of collaboration, and the benefit of working on multiple projects through time with the same core cohort of artists. I love working with Daniel and Gian Marco who are so generous in their desire to incorporate the ideas of others while keeping a steady path towards their artistic vision.

5. Do you have a favorite Western movie?
True Grit (2010) Cohen Brother's film.

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
Working at La MaMa is an honor. La MaMa is a community of talent, acceptance, and love. It has allowed me to challenge my abilities, celebrate my work and exposed me to so many great works and artists that I admire.


Virgo Star
November 14 - December 01, 2019
$25 Tickets; $20 Student/Senior Tickets [+$1 Facility Fee]

World Premiere
By Pioneers Go East Collective

Virgo Star explores and explodes the myth of the American Cowboy. An underground, kinetic ride through the Cowboy myths performed from a queer perspective, this dance-theatre work fuses personal storytelling and movement to re-create scenes from Western Movies.

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