Year in Review 2015
While we no longer tour the one woman show, many groups have started to produce The Panza Monologues in their own communities. We have been honored and often times surprised to see the many ways the panza has continued to grow. The second edition of The Panza Monologues book has loads of information and tips (including a DIY Production Manual) for organizing a production, a reading and/or panza party in your own community, but we wanted to take some time here (our first blog post of the New Year) to highlight a few ways that communities creatively showed us their panza in 2015.
Teatro Vivo's production of The Panza Monologues in Austin, TX
10 years after we premiered The Panza Monologues at ALLGO (also in Austin), Teatro Vivo presented the first independent full production of The Panza Monologues directed and performed by Florinda Bryant and Deanna Deolloz with Eva McQuade. It was tremendous to see a solo show transformed into an ensemble piece and to witness the ways in which the ensemble related the material back to their own experiences and lived realities. We also learned so much in talk backs by a new generation of artists that are creating work on and about their bodies. The language we have to talk about panza positivity has radically changed in ten years, and we are inspired by the ongoing conversation - because the panza is political. And, their handmade garland of red hot Cheetos that was used to decorate the altar was genius. Wait - what ever happened to those Cheetos?! Now we're hungry. More about the production.
The Tucson Festival of Books
What an honor to be invited as featured authors for The Tucson Festival of Books in March of 2015. This massive festival, held on the University of Arizona campus, is the largest literary event in Arizona and the fourth largest in the nation. Oftentimes we only think about theater in terms of shows and productions, but truth be known, The Panza Monologues has had its greatest circulation in print - so we were proud to be invited to a literary festival to read from The Panza Monologues book, sign copies, conduct workshops, and meet Arizona readers. Bien fancy!
Cal State Long Beach
Another great honor has been the care and attention of students at Cal State Long Beach who have been holding a yearly reading of The Panza Monologues since 2009 on their college campus. In fact, we feature their organizing efforts around staging a community performance of The Panza Monologues as a case study in our book. This year they created some extraordinarily brilliant ways to engage the panza beyond the play and for audience members to also show us their panza! Their creativity included a panza photo booth on Instagram complete with full sized panza cut outs for folks to wear! More about the production.
Alma Rivera and Nalgona Positivity Pride
Alma Rivera and Nalgona Positivity Pride hosted a total Panzapalooza in East LA with a full day of programming that included panza poetry, a mercado with vendors like Pancita Pies, and a screening of The Panza Monologues DVD. Perra Pumps was supposed to do a special live reading of two of the monologues, but girl, she tripped and fell and twisted her ankle while getting ready for the show. See? I told you - them puta shoes are just not worth it! I'll take panza over cha-cha any day. Check out the great interactive panza positive wall mural Alma Rivera created above. They asked their community - What does your panza mean to you?
These are just a few examples of ways that people shared their panzas with their communities last year. How will you activate your panza in 2016?
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