Nov 8, 2014

Coffeehouse #121 – Split Britches

Curator: Michal Gamily / Moderator: Alisa Solomon

Panelists: Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver, Moe Angeles

Performers: Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow
& Katie Goldstein (Man Meat Collective)

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About Split Britches

Split Britches was co-founded by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver with Deb Margolin, in 1981. Their collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama.  In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by the Doctoral Theatre Students Association of the City University of New York in honour of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theatre and Performance Community.

Shaw and Weaver are known for “a long line of smart, thrillingly well- executed performance pieces” (Katherine Dieckmann, Village Voice) and “tough intellectual and verbal content (John Hammond, The Native). Shaw has received Obie Awards for Performance in 1987 for Dress Suits for Hire and in 1999 for Menopausal Gentleman. They won two more OBIES for ensemble acting in Belle Reprieve (1991), a collaboration with Bloolips that was a reversed-gender version of Streetcar Named Desire. Weaver and Shaw were bestowed the title of Senior Fellows by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Executive Board at Encuentros 2014. The Institute awards the distinction of Senior Fellow to scholars, artists and activists affiliated with the institute and whose work illustrates the highest achievement in the field of performance and politics.


Alisa Solomon (moderator) is a writer, teacher, and dramaturg. She directs the Arts & Culture concentration in the MA program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her latest book is Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof.

PEGGY SHAW is a performer, writer, producer and teacher of writing and performance. She co-founded Split Britches and WOW in NYC.  She is a veteran of Hot Peaches and Spiderwoman and has collaborated as writer and performer with Lois Weaver and Split Britches since 1980.  Recent Split Britches collaborations include Miss America (2008), Lost Lounge (2009) and Ruff (2012). She has received three OBIE Awards, the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award.  Her book A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan and published by Michigan Press, won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for LBGT Drama. It includes scripts of her solo performances: You are Just Like My Father, Menopausal Gentleman, To My Chagrin and Must. Peggy was the 2011 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger  Award for the creation of Ruff, a musical collaboration that explores her experiences of having a stroke. She is the 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award.

LOIS WEAVER is an independent artist, activist and professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at Queen Mary University of London.  She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theatre, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980 and was co writer, director and performer for Miss America (2008) and Lost Lounge (2009) and co writer and director for Ruff (2012).  As part of Staging Human Rights, Lois taught in women’s prisons in Brazil and the UK and in 2006 became Artistic Director for Performing Rights, an international festival on the themes of performance and human rights held in London, Vienna and Glasgow. She was principal artist on Democratising Technology, a research project that uses performance techniques to initiate conversations on technology design. Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement ( include the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeM– USEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy is currently working on a new project What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old and Having Sex.  Lois is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow.


Moe Angelos has been one of The Five Lesbian Brothers since 1988 and she has been a member of the WOW Café since 1981. Moe has collaborated with The Builders Association as a performer and writer since 2000 and has appeared in several Builders’ productions, most recently SONTAG: Reborn at New York Theatre Workshop. Moe works in United Scenic Artists 829, assisting with Hollywood magic when she is not treading the boards. To hear more of what she has to say about show business, visit and browse the artists.PERFORMERS

Man Meat Collective is a NYC based queer performance collective that re-imagines and performs musicals to be more queer, because they believe they weren’t quite queer enough. The work of the Man Meat Collective is for lovers of camp, conflict and parody. The Man Meat Collective is made up of Hana Malia, Katie Goldstein, Megan Hanely, Rachel McCulough, Rachel Messer, and Zachary Wager Scholl.

Ariel “Speedwagon” Federow‘s work has been seen on Broadway, Lafayette, Houston, Chrystie, Fulton, N 6th, and many of the finer streets of NYC and beyond. Venues: Dixon Place, the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, the Bowery Poetry Club, WoW Theater Cafe, Hey Queen!, Rebel Cupcake, In the Flesh, BAX, the Bureau of General Services: Queer Divison, LaMama. Company member: the Ballez, Butch Burlesque. Worked With: Coral Short, Jenny Romaine, Susana Cook, Quito Ziegler,Daniel Rosza Lang/Levitsky, and the Aftselokhis Spectacle Committee. Resident reporter, Sarah Jenny News Network. Reigning dapperQ of the year. Co-curator of Deadline, a queer works-in-progress series. 2012 Hemispheric Institute Affiliated Emerging Artist. Miss JewSA 5772. Bingo host. Clown.

Coffeehouse Chronicles


Coffeehouse Chronicles is an educational performance series exploring the history of Off-Off-Broadway. Part artist-portrait, part history lesson, and part community forum, Coffeehouse Chronicles take an intimate look at the development of downtown theatre, from the 1960s’ “Coffeehouse Theatres” through today.

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