(This post contains lots of info about upcoming gigs and ONE special personal announcement. Can you find it?)
Actually this orchestrated public display will not be the first noteworthy event in which Glen and I flop around, a tag team of heart, mind, and body resulting in artistic man on man action.In addition to many impromptu artistic intercourse where we reveled in at cozy corner spots on the couch replete with low lights and murmurs, we done it in cars, and on queues, and we have done it more than once in the kitchen, the heart of the home, so suitable for two gay men to get it on in front of a mixed group of anxious, expectant, and trangressive folks as they marvel at the crazy risky behavior we flaunt in their faces. (Wait! He used a semi colon THERE?! Crazy man.)
We have a good history of doing it in front a variety of friends and strangers. We once did it for a small friendly audience of Quaker Folks in Hartford, CT. Then there was mildly raucous audience in Belfast that plied us with beers and local legend. Sure we have known that some folks prefer spying on us doing our stuff separately–alone–our special time where we each have control of content and climax.
I know that after the audience witnesses me do my thing, as I hobble off the stage, I feel spent and tremulous. I love to see us do it alone, but doing it together is well, explosive. We can’t keep our hands and performance schedules off of each other.
So we are at it again. Glen Retief, the memoirist, and I, the theater Bible scholar queer activist guy will offer a joint presentation, this time in Washington, DC.(See Details Below)
- Glen will read from his new book, The Jack Bank–A Memoiof a South African Childhood. (His South African accents with its lilts is sweeter than an apple tart covered in cream.
- For my part I will perform some new stand-up comedy (which I have been told needs to come with a surgeon general’s warning. Apparently it is not good for complacency) and perform scenes from my newest play I Can See Sarah Palin from My Wnidow! Lessons before the Second Coming.
I love book readings when authors read their own work, but often I find something missing and get a little bored. Glen is a brilliant reader, very animated, “performance art bookstore quality” :–p No honestly I have been thrilled to see him deeply reach people causing them to listen, laugh, are moved by the words Glen skillfully crafted each sentence and paragraph and even phrase while never forgetting the the overall arc of the work. over as if he was sculpture of stone peaces to flank a cathedral.
What you will also get with us together is a conversation between us that goes beyond being Quaker who use art for public witness. We are both Quaker who are partnered together and hope to get under the care of our local meeting, Pennsdale. We will touch on the role of being supporter, critic, and all that comes with partnership.
Quaker Artist and Public Witness
Peterson Toscano performs feats of activism on the stage while Glen Retief reveals injustice in the world and within himself on the page. These two very different Quaker artists reach out through their art into the broader world as they explore racism, homophobia, privilege, violence, faith, and identity.
Glen Retief will read from his new book–The Jack Bank, A memoir of a South African Childhood (St. Martins Press.) Retief grew up during Apartheid, and as a white privileged boy, he received training on how to maintain white domination for a racist regime. But as a gay young man, he found that his position in a macho, heterosexist, religious society created tensions that led him to question the world around him. His memoir offers an honest reflection and insightful reflection.
Growing up outside of New York City during the early HIV/AIDS crisis, Peterson Toscano received only negative messages about his sexuality. Being a devout Christian with a gay orientation, Toscano longed for a “cure” that would make him straight. 17 years and $30,000 later Toscano began to question his journey ultimately leading him to come out gay. He has since become internationally recognized for his hilarious and eye-opening comic plays–Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House (now on DVD), The Re-Education of George W. Bush, and Queer 101–Now I Know my gAy,B,C’s. His most recent work exposes gender benders in the Bible. Toscano will perform excerpts from some of his play and read from his upcoming memoir.
Glen Retief and Peterson Toscano live in Sunbury, PA and are members of Penndale Monthly Meeting. They will marry under the care of their meeting later this year. Retief is associate professor of writing at Susquehanna University. Toscano performs his original one-person plays and gives lectures at universities, high schools, and theaters throughout North America and Europe.
Praise for their work:
“Glen Retief’s Jack Bank is a transgressive, harrowing and illuminating work of literary art. In a language marked by a brutal childhood in the last years of the apartheid regime, and with uncommon wisdom, Retief’s epiphanic narrative draws us into regions of cultural importance beyond the scope of traditional memoir. Thus, he changes what we imagine this genre to be, allowing it to become something truer.”—Carolyn Forché, author of The Country Between Us
“…Peterson Toscano is the quintessential storyteller. A theater artist capable of bringing together exciting characters into a dramatic world that informs, entertains, and creates a platform for dialogue and possible constructive change. I enjoyed his performance immensely and look forward to his future work.”
Roberto Prestigiacomo, Producing Artistic Director of AtticRep, San Antonio, TX