Vancouver as a sci-fi Mecca is not such a stretch given the various Stargates, Battlestar Gallactica, Caprica and such that have been produced here for sometime. What is perhaps a little harder to understand is the apparent obsession-in-the-making that local Leaping Thespians theatre group seem to be developing for the subject. But after my recent chat with Director Karen White of their upcoming show Brides of the Moon, it all starts to make sense.
Written by the Five Lesbian Brothers, Brides of the Moon tells the story of a group of women astronauts sent to join some men who are colonizing the moon. An accident in space sends them off course and plays havoc with their sex drive implants. Their only connection with earth, which is now owned by “It’s Small World After All Inc”, is a rather ditzy housewife who can hear them through her microwave.
“This is a satirical and campy spoof,” said White. “It gets some good pokes in like the earth being owned by a Disney type company while remaining playful and down to earth at the same time”.
White said she was drawn to the play, which she discovered a number of years ago on the shelves of Little Sisters, because of its hilarious characters that she described as “types, with a futuristic spin”. She is all about allowing her actors to have a lot of freedom in developing their characters as well and she saw much potential here for her actors to have fun and invent.
Comedy is also important to White and the Leaping Thespians and while her first glib answer is about the audience having a good time, it soon became evident that there was a deeper reason.
“We want to entertain but we also want to get out a message but have it wrapped in laughter,” explained White. “Laughter is such a group release, it’s like screaming at a hockey game”.
But what of this sci-fi obsession-in-the-making? Brides of the Moon is the second show produced by this women’s theatre group with a science fiction theme following last year’s Once Upon a Lesbian. For White and her group this makes lots of sense and not only because she is a fan of genre herself.
“When I hit my 30’s I read a lot of science fiction which contained a lot of lesbian and feminist content,” said White. “Science fiction allows for a more wide open discussion of gender roles and power and that can show a world that is revisionist from a female and lesbian perspective.”
Is more sci-fi in the future for Leaping Thespians? White isn’t exactly saying although she did say the group is looking at a couple scripts but they are also thinking of doing something original again.
But before that happens, the group is scheduled to perform with another local queer theatre company, Raving Theatre, in the Theatre BC Greater Vancouver Zone Festival at the end of April. With queer theatre representing half of the shows at this year’s festival, White and her team are definitely excited. And so are we!
Brides of the Moon
14-17 & 20-24 April 2010
A lesbian sci-fi romp through space, Antarctica, and a microwave oven – all comedy, all camp. This comedy is written by the razor-sharp satirists, The Five Lesbian Brothers, and produced by a multi-award winning theatre group, The Leaping Thespians. It is a bawdy, dystopic and subversive comedy. Tickets are $18 – $20 available online or at Kokopelli’s Hair Salon and Little Sisters.