Founded in New York in 1980 with Deb Margolin, Split Britches continues with the duo and solo work of Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw which spans satirical, gender-bending performance, methods for public engagement, videography, digital and print media, explorations of ageing and wellbeing, and iconic lesbian-feminist theatre.
In 2016 Lois and Peggy were in Residence at the Barbican Centre in London and Governors Island in NYC, researching and developing a new performance about the risks of unexplored potential buried within us; often more deeply as we age.
Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) is a Split Britches ‘project-in-progress’; a continuing exploration of ageing, anxiety and ‘doomsday’ created through conversation and collaboration with an array of elders and artists.
UXO's latest development took place at Skirball Cultural Centre, Los Angeles in February 2017. Further dates in the UK and across the globe will be announced soon.
“Hi, my name's Tammy, and this is where I tell you what I’m up to. Get in touch, get involved, or just go explore my website. Come to one of my shows or why not check out some of the great video's on my YouTube channel, it's made for YOU. Come on in y’all, we’ve got a lot to talk about...”
Still curious at the age of 65, Tammy WhyNot wants to talk to older people about what it means to get old. She wants to know what happens to the desire for sex. She wants to find out what kinds of touch, courtship and intimacy the old folks might be getting up to and she wants to talk about it in public.
Tammy WhyNot is on an international, intergenerational mission to ask all the difficult questions, talk to those who really know and find out the truth about sex, and all its associations, at midlife and beyond.
Part performance, part chat show, all comeback tour, What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old and Having Sex was developed in collaboration with older people in Croatia, New York and the UK, drawing on their stories and experiences. Whatever the media might suggest, sex is certainly not just for the young and the photogenic.
‘Lois Weaver is a playful pixie of performance art’ NEW YORK TIMES
Performance artist Peggy Shaw ruminates on life before and after the stroke she had in 2011, delivering a freewheeling monologue with deadpan humour and arresting honesty.
There are dark spots and blanks in her memory now. Yet in paying tribute to the family, friends and performers who have inspired and kept her company over the years, she reflects on what is lost and equally celebrates the space left behind for new insight.
Supported by video monitors, a green screen and her virtual back-up band, Shaw talks, croons and imitates her way through a solo show confronting identity and change. Autobiographical anecdotes and filmed images are matched by tongue-in-cheek song renditions, with ‘The Hokey Cokey’ tweaked to inform us about the signs of spotting a stroke. Sometimes sombre, sometimes frisky, this is a stand-up routine that’s ‘admirably unsentimental and often very funny indeed’ (New York Times).
The Public Service Announcement (PSA) project consists of a growing series of videos featuring individual artists, performers and health professionals presenting important information for older people.
In the first, Peggy Shaw rocks out to the ‘Hokey Pokey’ and tells us to ‘Think F.A.S.T.’ when spotting the signs of a stroke. Forthcoming PSAs will deal with diverse subjects related to ageing, including sexually transmitted diseases amongst the over-50s and the fear of falling.
PEGGY SHAW: Think F.A.S.T.
Produced in response to our work with stroke survivors as part of Science Stroke Art with the Stroke Association North West, the legendary Peggy Shaw makes use of her solo performance RUFF to recognise the signs and symptoms of stroke. With her own iconic style and a rocking beat, Peggy Shaw’s Public Service Announcement shows you a thing or two about being F.A.S.T!
A Split Britches greatest hits album for those who remember the 1980s or a Split Britches primer for those who may have missed it!
Retro(per)spective is a medley of 30 years of Split Britches’ performances that made the politics of gender and sexuality and the humour of human relations accessible to all ages and persuasions.
Performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, Retro(per)spective provides a humourous slant on love, life, work and play and features excerpts from old favorites such as Upwardly Mobile Home, Belle Reprieve, Lesbians Who Kill, Dress Suits to Hire and Anniversary Waltz as well as material from their newer shows, Lost Lounge and Miss America.