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Welcome to Performatorium

Festival of Queer Performance

Welcome to this year’s edition of Performatorium: Festival of Queer Performance. Performatorium brings together a wide range of performances that address a ubiquitous and often taken-for-granted function of the human body. The mouth, specifically its role in making audible sound, is the centre of attention this year where language, speech, song, conversation, story telling, poetry and even stand-up comedy are all on the tip of the Peformatorium tongue. Speaking and singing – the voice – is what you will hear; listening is what you will do; and a wide range of ideas and concepts – personal, political, social, sexual – is what will be told.

In an age where oral culture is increasingly being matched and even overtaken with a culture of electronic communication (web, texting, email), presenting the work of artists who use oral expression acts as an antidote of sorts. From counter tenors to glory holes to long-distance phone calls to stand-up comedy, Performatorium wants you to lend your ear, open your mind and to simply listen to all that our mouths are needing and wanting to say and do.

In terms of oral expression as it relates to queer cultural history and contemporary western queer culture, our queer collective voice (literally and figuratively) has been instrumental in forging political and social gains through a variety of loud and clear protests, organizations and marches – Stonewall and the gay rights movement; HIV and AIDS; gay pride - and lyrically through the immergence of pop culture icons in the form of mainstream music (Madonna; Lady Gaga, etc.), where collective listening has resulted in a sense of commandery and another form of a virtual queer community. Examples of how the voice has served to be an important instrument of not just change but also of pleasure are far-reaching for the LGBTQITSLFA community.

Of course, we have slowly come to realize that within the collective body that is the ‘gay and lesbian community’ lies diverse and alternative voices. Nowhere is this more apparent than within the communities of queer artists whose work continues to challenge perceptions of identity and speaks out in new and resonant ways.

At Performatorium, it is these artists and their personal, creative and abject voices that will be shared and heard, producing a fresh and necessary octave of queer cultural expression in Regina. Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti...

Gary Varro
Artistic Director
Queer City Cinema
December 2012