Not too long ago I returned from the Fillet of Solo Festival in Chicago – an event dedicated to the telling of stories – some hot off the press and read, some memorized and fleshed out. I performed with the Sweat Girls and had the opportunity to take in a few of the other shows. And I came away with an affirmation of how much I love this form. I love to watch, I love to hear and I love to be a part of it. It is theater at its simplest. And beyond that, I love to read words also. I like them on a page. I like to move them around and frequently I have to cut a lot of them because I don’t always get to the point quickly enough. HURRICANE BETTY will be a book. ME AND MY CHAKRAS is a performance piece. A good portion of the material for each came from work with the Sweat Girls and the Write Nights at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Ft. Greene. A deadline is a powerful motivator.
“Day three dawned and I had been in closets and boxes all morning. I was hot and sweaty and bringing a load downstairs, when suddenly, I found myself in the eye of one of my mother’s Manifesto storms.”
I’ve been writing about my mother for a long time. Because she’s fascinating, even if she is my mother. Larger than life. Beautiful when she was a young woman and still very much so as she got older. Poignant, when not completely perturbing. When I mention her name in a Sweat Girl piece, frequently I hear “yay, it’s a Betty story.” My mother passed away on January 3, 2013. This is a project all about her. More specifics follow. JUST CLICK.
“My heart is my best feature.”
Formed in 1993, 21 and finally legal this year, we are a group of women who write and perform original monologues. Critically acclaimed throughout greater Chicago, the Sweat Girls have traveled to San Francisco and New York City. Shows include the long running: I’m Sweating Under My Breasts, Sweat Dreams and Pigs at the Trough of Attention as well as I Just Oops Until I Wow, All This and the Sugar Dish Too and Sweat Girl Swing. In collaboration with Joe Winston (documentary filmmaker) and Lifeline Theatre (producer), we created The Motherlode, a tribute/valentine to our moms and an amazing project. We also released a spoken-word CD, Almost Live, and developed and performed Cirque du Sweat. The most current Sweat offerings have been featured at the Live Bait Fillet of Solo Festival, the Acorn Theater and Around the Coyote Festival.
“Thank you very much Betty, that will be $6500 for the wonton soup and cashew chicken.”
ME AND MY CHAKRAS
One woman’s (mine?!) continuing search for her divine – inspired by the 7 major energy centers, the color coded chakras. There are 7 stories, 1 for each chakra. Written and performed for the Playground Development Series at Manhattan Theatre Source and Flourish Studios in Chicago.
“The high pressure is inevitably drawn to the low because what’s a left without a right.”
WRITE NIGHT @ FRANK'S COCKTAIL LOUNGE
Popular neighborhood event at Frank’s in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn happening 3 or 4 times a year since 2009. Evenings focus on new writing and performing around a central theme. I am an original and frequent contributor. They’re wonderful nights. Some of my stories include: “Sophie Shea, Exclamation Point”, “Merry Christmas Peggy Fuller”, “Baptized – Mom in the City” and “The Boogie Man and Me”.
I’ve also performed and written pieces for White Bird Productions’ Barbie Project and American Blues series. And I was the story editor for the newly published and very exciting children’s book, LEO The Maker Prince, Journeys in 3D Printing by Carla Diana. available on Amazon and in fabulous bookstores everywhere.
Copyright © Cindy D. Hanson - All rights reserved.