Bridget Bishop Presents: The Salem Bitch Trials follows a drag family as they put on a play about the first witch executed during the Salem Witch Trials. As the story unfolds, they lose track of what is history and what is the present reality. As Bridget Bishop lip-syncs her way through Donna Summer's greatest hits, she must reconcile her relationships with her drag daughters, her love interest, and her own identity in and out of drag. With a cast of New York's favorite drag queens, Brita Filter, Monét Xchange, Miz Cracker, and Dusty Ray Bottoms, this play looks to examine performance and identity within the LGBT and drag community. There will be pre-show performances from our queens, as well as wine being served throughout the night. The play hopes to capture the essence of gay nightlife and utilize it in a theatrical setting.
The playwright, Jared Rubin Sprowls, is a recent Northwestern University graduate and is incredibly excited about his NYC/Off-Broadway debut with a fellow Northwestern alumnus, Aaron Simon Gross, directing this project. Sprowls wrote this piece in conjunction with his undergraduate Senior Honors Thesis entitled Adapting Drag for Conventional Theatrical Forms. In his research, he looked at the ways in which contemporary drag artists combined genres and mediums to create the exciting work being presented on stage. Drag queens, Sprowls found, are curators of music, media, pop culture, and fashion, and he hoped to write a play that could incorporate these layers of performance as well as the drag artists who have been cast in the play.
Similar to Arthur Miller’s well-known play, The Crucible, The Salem Witch Trials were chosen as the backdrop and, subsequently, a larger metaphor for the story. Witches and drag queens seemed to have more similarities than one might intentionally have thought: What do we consider magical and who is able to attain it? As themes tied to sexuality arose, Donna Summer found her way into the story as a surrogate drag mother to our protagonist Bridget Bishop and her death as an impetus for the play itself. What allows these ideas to be put together, and also makes the play unique, is the metatheatricality of the piece, meaning that it is a play within a play. A drag queen blurs the line between what is performance and/or a character and what is authentic or realistic: Sprowls wanted The Bitch Trials to emulate that quintessential drag quality.
Bridget Bishop Presents: The Salem Bitch Trials is campy and gaudy while being sincere at its core. It’s only a limited run, October 18th-22nd, so make sure to catch this 90 minutes of drag and drama while you can! Tickets are only $25-$30 and are available at www.thesalembitchtrials.com, where you can also learn more about the project, cast, and crew. Lastly, like the play on Facebook to stay up to date on our special offers and events. History has never been this fierce!
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