Solanas Lost and Found

Valerie shot Andy when he couldn't find her play. Rediscovered, Up Your Ass opens at last.

Using the same all-female cast for both productions gives Coates a way to update the plays by showing how gender is performative, and how censorship in America now centers on gender fluidity. Although Up Your Asswas written in the '60s, some of Solanas's lines sound very turn of the century. As Coates stages it, Solanas's two drag queens, Miss Collins and Scheherazade, are played by two actresses in male drag playing drag queens. Both sport Dolly Parton wigs, mustaches, and sideburns.

MISS COLLINS: I face reality, and reality is we're men.

SCHEHERAZADE: You are what you look like.

So female she's subversive: Bongi Perez (Sara Moore) takes charge in Up Your Ass.
photo: Peter Dasilva
So female she's subversive: Bongi Perez (Sara Moore) takes charge in Up Your Ass.

BONGI: You are very pretty for a boy.

SCHEHERAZADE: What do you mean for a boy? Look, not to brag, but I know what I've got.

MISS COLLINS: Do you know where you've got it? It's between your legs. . . . Shall I tell you a secret? I despise men! Oh, why do I have to be one of them? [Brightening] Do you know what I'd like to be more than anything in the world? A lesbian. Then I could be the cake and eat it, too.

Coates thinks that if Solanas could see this production of Up Your Ass, she might laugh. Of course, he adds, if Valerie were around, she'd insist on directing.

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