Singsong, a drag spectacle with one theremin and two performers
A drag spectacle with your voice – our voice, the one made up of your body and my musical instrument, the theremin, the electronic voice. The voice has that soul quality. That growl. That high, clear yodel. That deep, manly drawl. The voice is different, depending on whether you’re being Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam, or Domineaux Deluxxe, or whether I’m being Gay Bonny, Emmylou Harris, or Synthia. We are in complete control of each other’s movements. The audience drinks cocktails and gazes at your face, then at my hands, then back at your face. I have to watch you like I would watch a conductor. When you open your mouth, it looks like a sound is coming out. A lip-synch illusion. We watch each other. We allow ourselves to be hypnotized by one another. In the middle of the concert we hit rock bottom, in love and depressed, trying to hang on to something that’s already gone, then you come out with a two-foot-high hairdo and give me the courge to continue. Then the voice roars like a monster.
I remember you saying that ultimately it’s not you who decides what your body does, somehow, the voice decides. Sometimes I think that your body decides before the voice does, but it’s both, in fact. Your body and my instrument, your face and my sounds, your gender and my gender. We use the voice to travel and to affect our bodies, to displace the glamour of a drag show. As performers, we are actively describing moments in the transformation of a voice, and in doing so, the possibility for change is within our grasp. The description of gender makes gender malleable and open to qualitative changes. This is what drag is about, the description of gender. This is why we use drag for our appearances and for the voice, to subvert a world where gender goes undescribed, where gender and voice is considered as something ‚natural’.
Concept, direction, performance, costumes: William Wheeler
Conceptual cooperation and co-direction, performance: Antonia Baehr
Conceptual cooperation, stage design, space: Stefan Pente
Production: Wheeler/Baehr, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt in the frame of ‘plateaux’ in coproduction with Schaubühne Lindenfels Leipzig.
Funded by Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. with support from the German Federal Commission for Culture and Media.
With the friendly support of Podewil, Berlin