Local news, art, history & entertainment in the mid-Hudson Valley
[ WEEKEND Q+A ]
Truscott goes solo for 'This'
Comedian and cult cabaret star premieres new work locally
BY Nicole DeLawder • firstname.lastname@example.org
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 3/22/17
Adrienne Truscott performed her first critically-acclaimed solo show, “Asking For It,” with no clothes on from her waist to her ankles and talked about everything from rape whistles, ducks and Rick Ross. With Tanya Gagne and The Wau Wau Sisters, the pair guzzle beers, perform trapeze and dress up audience members with a hilarious, foul-mouthed mix of comedy and circus arts.
On Saturday, March 25, Truscott will preview her new solo show, “This,” at Mount Tremper Arts in Phoenicia. “This” will then premiere at New York Live Arts on April 5-8. Tickets for Saturday’s show are $15 and available via mounttremperarts.org by calling 845-688-9893.
Truscott is currently performing nightly shows in Australia, but Weekend caught up with her via email to talk about “This”–
WEEKEND: Hudson Valley-ers are familiar with your work with the Wau Wau Sisters at Bard College’s Spiegeltent, what brings you back to the area for “This?”
TRUSCOTT: I fell in love with the area since I starting coming up for summer performances at Bard. My boyfriend and I eventually bought a small piece of property and have worked our fingers to the bone to pretty it up. We now have a small, off-grid solar cabin – a tiny house, I suppose – which we are convinced will be our salvation and security as artists in this ever changing world.
I started a small version of ‘This’ while at my cabin during a performance series named ‘Catch’ which happened at Basilica [in Hudson] last summer. So it makes perfect sense to continue working on it up here, with the generous help and gorgeous surroundings of Mt. Tremper Arts.
WEEKEND: Your last show, “Asking For It,” tackled topics like rape, what did you learn from that show and how has it influenced “This”?
TRUSCOTT: I guess I learned – and I’ve always thought this – that if you take risks that feel worthy and are rigorous in your work, you are on the right path. A lot of people, understandably, thought ‘Asking For It’ might have been a ‘bad’ or ‘misguided’ project but I felt really clear about how and why I was doing it, and it turned in to a really powerful piece. But my definition of taking risks doesn’t just mean ‘risky’ material or topics. I did that show as stand-up comedy because it felt like a form that would allow the material to be insurgent in places, venues and rooms that might not otherwise be open to such a politicized conversation about that topic. It was a trick, in a way! But I had never done stand-up comedy, so that piece also taught me that taking risks in your work can mean experimenting with form.
WEEKEND: How long have you been working on “This?” What are your inspirations?
TRUSCOTT: I started working on ‘This’ last August. I was actually completely and utterly exhausted for about eight years of non-stop touring, often doing two shows a night. But I had to do five minutes of something for ‘Catch’ and I had been sick and in bed. I had these four letters with lights in them. I had actually bought them to spell the word ‘sh*t’ in lights, as an admittedly juvenile art project. I second-guessed it and switched the letters and liked how immediate and wide-open ‘this’ seemed to mean – as in I made ‘This.’
WEEKEND: Your work from the Wau Wau Sisters to “Asking For It” addresses fierce feminist ideals with a bold sense of humor, how has the recent political climate influenced your work?
TRUSCOTT: It has mostly made me want to write, and in some ways wish I was a lawyer! The political climate feels so dire it’s all I can do to process the mountains of damning information, scandal and dangerous policy. I’m still figuring out how to process the politics of it artistically and abstractly.
WEEKEND: What can guests look forward to during the preview performance?
TRUSCOTT: A curious and mysterious physicalized performance of a book that I think I wrote that morning. It’s playing around with presence, memory, authorship, narrative authority, linearity, truth, fiction, autobiography, creative sources and what demarcates performance, intention, execution. In some ways, I mine my own past and current large group and solo pieces for material available for theft and repurposing.
WEEKEND: Anything else you’d like to add?
TRUSCOTT: Please come along! It will be one of my first, but hopefully not my last, solo evening-length pieces in my soon to be new home in the Hudson Valley!