QUEER CABARETS, the performance project that has grown from STONES TO RAINBOWS/GAY TO QUEER LIVES, the award winning multi-media installation developed with LGBTQ+ voices from all points on the spectrum by Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion, comes to the stage this coming Pride Month - June, 2022.
In association with co-presenter Central Square Theatre, 4 evenings of QUEER CABARETS will take the stage June 16- 19, 2022.
Live performers for QUEER CABARETS are all members of the Boston-region’s eclectic LGBTQ+ artist community - singers, comedians, dancers, poets and drag artists.
QUEER CABARETS will be presented with a rotating cast of intergenerational and intersectional performers that perform live - cradled by an installation of previously recorded multi-media interviews featuring area and national LGBTQ+ community members, ages 20’s to 70’s and from all points on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Expect performances of stellar music, dance, spoken word, comedy and just downright fabulousness - can we say high-heeled pole-dancing meets Cole Porter? - along with the funny and often poignant reflections on gay to queer lives over the span of 100 years.
Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion And Central Square Theater Present:
QUEER CABARETS: Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives June 16, 17, 18, 19
For more information: Maegen Killeen email@example.com ________________________
Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives is a testament to decades' worth of persistence and resilience, love and life that has created our current queer community.
The success of the multi-media installation Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives comes from the intersection of artists and community, a full spectrum of self-identification, and a range of unique and diverse voices representing the LGBTQ+ community. With the addition of live QUEER CABARETS as we emerge from the isolation of COVID, the shows become a living metaphor of the need for community to gather- and that includes our queer community and our allies.
The Somerville Arts Council, Cambridge Arts, the Boston Foundation LAB Grant, New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative City with support from the Barr Foundation, the Equality Fund and individual donors have funded this project
Partners in development have included Agora Cultural Architects, Arlington Street Church, The History Project, along with arts allies Front Porch Arts Collective, Dancing Queerly, The Dance Complex. _____________________________________
Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives is a process-to-performance project, developed into dynamic pop-up multimedia - sound, lights, video and images - within an installation of closet doors, both inspired by and developed from the intergenerational and cross-sectional dialogues of Boston-area LGBTQ+ artists and community.
In the project’s first phase: queer artists and community alike engaged in a series of zoom-ed cocktail parties, paired dialogues, and individual interviews. These dialogues were augmented by materials from the archives of project partner The History Project, self-identified as “the only organization focused exclusively on documenting and preserving the history of New England’s LGBTQ communities.”
A vision began to emerge for the project’s collaborators, the accumulation of many shifting, dynamic parts throughout months of interviews and dialogues. DiMuro describes:
“What began to emerge for us was the mash up of conversations, of images from 100 years of history, video clips of 7 decades of lived gay lives appearing, interwoven and overlapping on a sculpture of closet doors, as if a time-warped hologram was dropped into your presence by a queer, all-knowing ancestor of yours...or of the future? And at any given time, the hologram shifts to cradle a performance, a Queer Cabaret, that gives you pause: ‘Is this real? Is this a vision?’
And, ultimately, the experience would...should...could bring on reflection, questioning: What is my role in this gay past, this queer present? What is this journey that has included the hurling of rocks at Stonewall 50 years ago? What ride am I on today, this continuing roller coaster of persecution and celebration of queer folks? Where are the rainbows I will hold onto into the future….?”
The inspiration for the project was sparked in rehearsal with a dancer in his 20s, another in his 30s, and DiMuro, in his 60s. A simple question was asked: “What was the AIDS crisis like to live through? I’ve only read about it in books.” The conversation evolved into a discussion of the terms “gay” and “queer”, their usage over time. Even prior to COVID, the conversation turned again to pandemics: Isn't our current era’s killing of young trans women of color an epidemic of its own?
The project further developed with the emergence of the coronavirus, which ultimately altered the course and scope of the developmental research. Through COVID, every event had been held online, which enabled conversations not just in Boston, but across the globe, with participants from Texas, Washington, DC, France, New Zealand, and more.
Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives seeks to build upon the archives of the past and these conversations in the present, satisfying a need for present day celebration and articulation of the spectrum of LGBTQ+ lives lived, in all their glorious diversity.
Built on a foundation of our first-gay/now-queer histories in the hopes of creating a more intersectional voice for the future, the project is, in itself, a commission to all visitors and contributors to the dialogues who add to our collection of stories each day and to all performing artists defining the current queer world in Boston: Celebrate your queer and accumulated selves, be inspired by the past but not a slave to it; use your humanity, your dialogue, your talents to make a bridge for future queer lives.
The Stones to Rainbows/Gay to Queer Lives collaboration has been fed by over 100 voices to date, through Zoom rooms, Instagram, and live conversations.
When the AIDS crisis hit, we were in this viral world where you didn't know left from right, up from down, anything. That time period was a lived experience for many in my generation, and has become a handed down experience for those younger LGBTQ+ individuals. Here we are in this place now, and for many of us who were alive during the AIDS crisis, COVID-19 is recapitulating a lot of intense feelings we experienced decades ago. This time provides an opportunity to connect to younger folks who are now experiencing those feelings associated with "virus" firsthand. It feels the perfect time to introduce this dialogue project to the LGBTQ+ community, and its allies, providing an opportunity for all to process what is happening to us now and what has happened to us then, and paving the way to build a bridge of understanding and empathy across lines of age, race, gender, and expression. -Peter DiMuro Built on a foundation of our first-gay/now-queer histories in the hopes of creating a more intersectional voice for the future, Stones to Rainbows is, in itself, a commission to all those defining the current queer world in Boston and beyond. The call: celebrate your queer and accumulated selves, be inspired by the past but not a slave to it; use your talents to make a bridge for future queer lives. This feels all the more crucial given the uncertainty of the present. We are living through an experience not felt by this world in over 100 years. As necessary precautions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic force much of the world to take cover in their homes, we find our globalized culture rapidly isolating. Fortunately, unlike 100+ years ago, we have the benefits of technology to maintain our social connection.
Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM) is under the fiscal sponsorship of The Dance Complex. Tax deductible donations can be made through The Dance Complex's website. Follow this link, and select Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion when making your donation.