Marty Pottenger • Early Work

Early Work

Early Work

I started realizing that performance created a form of listening, of connecting that was unlike any other. That big issues could not only be addressed, but resolved. That people who were near at war, could find connection. Not always and not forever, but I hadn't seen anything else come close. So I started performing, for the first time since my final college performance exam - a scene from Harold Pinter's Birthday where I played the old man and Evie played my wife.

There wasn't much call for it but even in our small feminist women's movement in St. Pete, we dealt with the same bloody issues women were dealing with the world over. Death from illegal unsafe abortions, stranger rapes, date rapes, spousal rapes, suicides, beatings from male partners, lesbian bashings, coming out, disownment, loss of jobs, children, police harassment - all that and more. And those were mostly the topics I performed about, but with my own quirky take, humor and grace. I only performed for women and didn't seek opportunities, so there weren't that many performances.

Each one was a unique performance imagined during a two hour time in the various spaces the day of the performance. The ones I remember include the one at Sagaris, two in St. Pete, one at WARM Gallery in Minneapolis, one for an underground feminist collective I was a part of, one at a lesbian conference in York PA, a speakout for Sex Workers at the Women's Coffeehouse in NYC that Sapphire and I performed at, a speakout for a Tribunal on Crimes Against Women that was at the same coffeehouse, at least one if not two for the Heresies Collective which I was a part of and then my last one at Medea Theater, 10 Bleeker Street, NYC.

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