As Sure as God Made Little Green Apples: In Fairbanks Friday & Saturday
Revive the Red Tent Productions presents an original theatrical piece “As Sure as God Made Little Green Apples” in Fairbanks, March 23 and 24. The piece is a blend of text and movement reflecting the experience of growing up and coming out as a lesbian in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Members of Revive the Red Tent spent four months interviewing local members of the lesbian community, creating “As Sure as God Made Little Green Apples” through a process of butoh, contact improvisation, local interviews and modern dance. The piece is performed by Fiona Zachel and Anna Gagne-Hawes, and is an hour in length.
A story in today’s Fairbanks Daily News Miner talks more about the creative process Zachel and Gagne-Hawes followed in creating the work:
The play is based on a series of interviews Gagne-Hawes and Zachel did with lesbians in Fairbanks. Based on those interviews, certain themes emerged — growing up knowing you’re gay, coming out, sex, feeling lost in your body.
The two took the themes and began making movements based on those ideas. By working with a technique called “contact improv,” Gagne-Hawes and Zachel came up with five pieces — featuring modern dance and butoh — and have included about 23 pages of text.
Butoh, according to the Wikipedia article on the subject, is
the collective name for a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivations for dance, performance, or movement inspired by the Ankoku-Butoh (暗黒舞踏 ankoku butō?) movement. It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience.
The News-Miner goes on to explain the importance of coming-out stories to the creation of “Little Green Apples”:
Gagne-Hawes said she’s always been fascinated with the coming out stories because it highlight’s “people’s faith to be themselves.” The show also has personal impact to her: Both her mothers are gay and came out in the early ‘90s.
“This idea of someone who’s not recognized in society is something I’ve always been aware of,” she said.
All of the women Gagne-Hawes and Zachel interviewed were under 30. It made for an interesting dynamic. Most of the women struggled with feelings of doubt — like they were the wrong gender or they were attracted to the wrong sex. But when it came to their coming out, all the women had good experiences.
“I think Fairbanks can feel like a cold place to live and a very isolating place to live,” Gagne-Hawes said. “But in all of the stories, coming out has been a really positive experience.”
The production illustrates the positive impact of Pride Foundation‘s activities in Alaska’s LGBTQA community: creation of “As Sure as God Made Little Green Apples” was supported by a Pride Foundation grant to Revive the Red Tent, one of five Alaskan non-profits selected for Pride Foundation grants in 2011.
The piece contains mature themes that are not suggested for an audience under the age of 16.
- Date/time: Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, 8:00-9:00 PM
- Location: Empress Theatre, 2nd floor of Co-Op Arts building. 535 2nd Avenue (entrance on 3rd Ave.) Fairbanks, AK (see map)
- Cost of admission: A donation of $15.00 is suggested,
- Further info: see Facebook events page, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- 23 Mar 2012. “Finding themes key in ‘As Sure As God Made Little Green Apples’” by Suzanna Caldwell (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner).
- “Butoh.” Wikipedia article.