by Hope Lafferty
It is almost time for Rogue Festival again–it will be taking place March 6-14 in the Tower District of Fresno. This week we are posting the last of the Performer Preview articles. This year we have added a special category where you will be able to find all of our Rogue Festival articles. During Rogue we will be reviewing shows as usual, and we also have a Rogue Festival event page with more information!
Marfa Theatre Incubator is thrilled to bring Hope Lafferty’s solo show Inhibitionist(!) to the 2020 Rogue Festival in Fresno, March 6 through 14. Billed as “one woman’s love letter to the shy and studious,” performances will be held at:
Veni Vidi Vici, 1116 North Fulton as follows:
• Friday, March 6 at 9:15 p.m.
• Saturday, March 7 at 3 p.m.
• Sunday, March 8 at 6:45 p.m.
• Saturday, March 14 at 1:45 p.m.
This memoir with legs charts Lafferty’s ongoing war with gravity—stories centered around a box [?] and inspired by her lifelong impatience, klutziness, and second-guessing.
“I’m a convert [to theatre],” Lafferty told Theatre Jones in December 2019. “No, I’m actually born again.”
For most of Lafferty’s adult life, she has worked in research hospitals, only returning to her performance roots at age 51. INHIBITIONIST(!) is inspired by a life’s work far afield from show business.
“I think about many of my friends—my women friends. I have so many women friends that are academics, and throughout my life, I have watched them hang their personalities at the door so they can fit into that space. All of my friends grew up being dutiful daughters and getting good grades and getting into schools, which has been converted with age into trying to be good parents, strong professionals, and legitimate peers, to be taken seriously. Those are [the] women that inspired this show. Because I work with a bunch of scientists, I know that men are hung up on this stuff, too. But it’s always the women that exude [WRONG WORD—EXHIBIT? EXUDE MEANS “RADIATE”] this tradeoff. It’s easier to conform and accept than risk, always making sure that top button is secured and neat.”
INHIBITIONIST(!) encompasses a series of vignettes from Lafferty’s life, broken into two themes: Everybody’s In My Way, inspired by Lynda Barry’s character Marlys from her weekly comic strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek; and “Our Bodies, Our Shelves, a self-disempowerment twist on the 70’s feminist health classic “Our Bodies Ourselves” by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. Which vignettes—which themes—will be performed depends on the show. And the audience.
“My plan is to intuit which stories each audience needs to experience,” said Lafferty, who will create a unique set list before each show. This flexibility in presentation highlights the structure of the show.
“When we were planning the work, my director [Rhianna Basore] asked me what I envision the narrative arc to be,” said Lafferty.
“The problem is, I’m still working that out. As a writer, this has been my problem forever. When I was writing memoir and essays, and now my short plays, the work is always existential. There’s not an arc, there’s a cycle. Or perhaps a spiral,” Lafferty said.
“Rhianna put it to me this way: In Western traditions, we’re very focused on the hero’s journey. Eastern traditions are less results oriented. I’ve been meditating since age 18, so I’m comfortable with the fluidity of self, permanence, non-permanence, attachment and non-attachment. So I ask the audience to ride with me on this heroine’s spiral.”
Part TED talk, part clown show, part sweat lodge, INHIBITIONIST(!) is written and performed by Hope Lafferty of Marfa, Texas, and directed by Rhianna Basore of San Diego, California.
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, and also on Podbean.
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