“Ladies at a Gay Girls' Bar, 1938-1969” (originally titled "Starting from Fem" is a solo piece by Maggie Cee that imagines and explores the queer past and passions between people who loved, fought, and created space to be themselves out of sheer necessity and determination. Through dance, soundscapes, oral history and fictional monologues the piece takes the audience into a mid-20th century urban american gay girls’ (to use the parlance of the time) bar, to explore the emotional and experiential realities of fem women.
“Ladies at a Gay Girls' Bar, 1938-1969” brings LGBTQ and allied communities to a deeper connection to queer history, situating audience members within a specific, formative time in history that laid a foundation for modern LGBTQ life and activism. It underscores the importance of LGBTQ spaces, and highlight the effect misogyny had and has on the queer community.
The piece centers around four fem characters whose stories explore coming out, relationships, and community from the fem perspective, which is often sidelined as compared to the butch perspective in history and fiction from this period.
Reading, studying and listening to oral history is valuable to our community as we study our history. But not all stories are recorded equally. In this piece, I hope to go behind the archive, connecting the dots to explore the emotional heart of fem history.
“Ladies at a Gay Girls' Bar, 1938-1969” premiered with the working title, "Starting From Fem" at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA on June 2, 2017. It’s currently a work in progress. See the blog to read more about the piece and process.