Short Skirt Butch are three words that pack a gender punch. The one-woman play written by Halifax playwright Lee-Anne Poole, will be playing at Venus Envy on Thursday July 5th.
Folks who want to follow the mishaps of Jean, a queer woman whose quest for lust takes her into a not-so-equal polyamourus relationship, then Short Skirt Butch is a play not to be missed.
Poole originally wrote the play for the Atlantic Fringe Festival but is now taking it on tour, stopping in Ottawa for one night only.
typeQ tracked down Poole and asked her five quirky questions, read her answers below.
typeQ: Short Skirt Butch - is the title a reflection on who you are as a writer and queer woman?
Lee-Anne Poole: I don't know if it's a reflection of who I am as a writer or not... but it could definitely be a reflection of who I am as a queer person. I think of short skirt butch as less of a sexual identity and more of a way to describe someone's gender expression. But it's really just a joke. I'm queer. That's a word that fits me and I feel good in. Short skirt butch came out of a conversation about how I don't like the word femme - for me. I love femme, the concept, and I love femmes. And I may look femme... perhaps... I've been told anyway. But looks is where it stops for me. I don't feel very femme.
typeQ: Okay, so I love the title and that's why you get a second question relating to it. I read that the words came from a conversation you had a year ago. Did those three words keep swirling around in your head looking for a place to go?
LAP: Absolutely. I loved them. As soon as they popped out of my mouth, as a total joke mind you, I was all over them. It sounds great. Short skirt butch - it's got a beat to it.
typeQ: I feel it should be a comedy but by all accounts it is not. How did you come up with the character Jean and her long list of foibles?
LAP: I think it's a comedy. I certainly gets a lot of laughs out of the audience. I write very personally. It's my voice, or at least it always starts out that way then the piece sort of took on the character of Jean. I think of her as a blown up caricature of myself. Really blown out of proportion (I hope anyway!).
PHOTO: Stephanie MacDonald as Jean l PHOTO CRED: Courtesy of Lee-Anne Pool
typeQ: The world of polyamoury? Did you explore it from a personal experience or as something that seems to be pretty prevalent in the queer community?
LAP: My very first girlfriend and I were monogamous, and I haven't done it since then. It's just not for me. I'm polyamourus, and think of that as a very important part of my life. I've never been in a tried, like Jean. But honestly, I don't think any of that matters in terms of people being able to relate to her and the story she tells. It's love and it's heartbreak. It doesn't matter whether that's poly, a triad or one on one. We all get it.
typeQ : I have not seen your other plays so I may be off the mark with this question but how is Short Skirt Butch different to them? And, what was it like writing the play, did you find it hard, easy or fun to write?
LAP: It's similar to my other plays in terms of subject matter. My other shows talk about sex and queer issues, though in varying ways. Short Skirt Butch is a different kind of comedy, story telling, and a different kind of conversation with the audience - her community. It's been really fun to write. Really enjoyable. It's gone through a lot of rewrites. And I think the show has found it's place.
Short Skirt Butch at Venus Envy, 320 Lisgar St, Thurs July 5, 9pm. Tickets $10 -$15 on sale at the door.