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The Birds and the Bees...Unabridged

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Maggie Keenan-Bolger and Rachel Sullivan
March 12, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Co-creators.

What is your show about?
A diverse cast explores female sexuality. The truthful, the awkward, the poignant and humorous.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
Maggie grew up in inner-city Detroit and went to undergrad at Oberlin College Rachel grew up in upstate New York and went to undergrad at Northwestern. The two of them met as students in the first graduating Applied Theatre class in the country at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. They have been compulsively working together ever since.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
Our show is devised theatre which means its built from the ground-up by the cast and creative team without an initial script. The process works so well because everyone involved gets to be equal parts actor, playwright and director. And believe us, 25 minds are better than one.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
Because we all want different things, feel different emotions, experience our bodies in different ways, and even have different definitions for what the term “female sexuality” even means. But we all feel like the discussions on this topic so far have been lacking in the inclusion of the real voices of flawed but fabulous women and people assigned female at birth, with a variety of ideas, opinions and experiences. So we’re starting that discussion in all its radical awkwardness.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Well that's an easy one. Sexy! Though perhaps not in the sorts of ways you might expect...

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Well, if our cast is any indication, very! We have a group of 20 actors and 15 visual artists. They range in age from 20-70 and come from all cultural, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Most are women-identified, others were assigned female at birth but no longer identify as women. Some talk about sex/uality for a living, others prefer not to discuss their private lives. There are mothers, teachers, actors, lawyers, costume designers and more. Some of the cast members joined us because as women with disabilities, they have been frequently left out of discussions about sexuality. Some hope to generate more positive, realistic portrayals of queer people in theatre and visual art. Some simply wanted to find a community to be a part of. They come together with a common goal; to get the real voices of women and people assigned female at birth into the discourse about female sexuality.