Drag and Gender (audio)

Revisit the literary magic of Brooklyn Book Festival 2017’s most popular programs, thanks to the generous support of the Amazon Literary Partnership. Here’s the fifth of our top-six!


Performing Gender, presented by BAM
Author, director, and actor Olivier Py is joined by performer, writer, and founding member of Split Britches Peggy Shaw for a ranging discussion about drag performance and about the broader politics of performing gender. Moderated by performance artist, playwright and educator Daniel Alexander Jones and presented in conjunction with this season’s “Olivier Py Sings Les Premiers Adieux de Miss Knife,” as part of the BAM Next Wave Festival.

About the Speakers

Daniel Alexander Jones (moderator)
Daniel Alexander Jones makes live performance. Duat premiered at Soho Rep in 2016 to critical acclaim. His other performances and plays include Radiate, Phoenix Fabrik, Blood:Shock:Boogie, and Bel Canto; the musical, Bright Now Beyond, written with composer Bobby Halvorson; and a multi-chapter series of solo autobiographical performances, The Book of Daniel, made with musician Walter Kitundu, and director Tea Alagic. His alter-ego Jomama Jones has released four albums; her show Black Light will be at the Public Theater in early 2018. Daniel was named a 2015 Doris Duke Artist, in recognition of his risk-taking practice.

Olivier Py
Author, director, and actor Olivier Py studied at the National Superior School of Theatre Arts and Techniques and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art Paris. His first play, Oranges and Nails, starring Didier Lafaye, was produced in 1988, the same year he founded his own company. In 1995, he made a big splash at the Festival d’Avignon when he performed The Servant, an endless story on a 24-hour cycle. In 1998, Py was appointed as the director of the Orléans National Drama Centre. From 2007 to 2011 he was the head of the Théâtre National de l’Odéon. He was appointed as the director of the Festival d’Avignon in September 2013.

Peggy Shaw
Peggy Shaw is a performer, writer, producer and teacher. She has collaborated with Lois Weaver and Split Britches since 1980. Peggy has received three OBIE Awards and was the recipient of the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005. Her book A Menopausal Gentleman, edited by Jill Dolan, won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for LBGT Drama. Peggy was the 2011 recipient of the Ethyl Eichelberger Award for the creation of RUFF. She was a recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and a 2017 United States Artist Fellowship.