Annual Purimshpils! I’ve had the pleasure of co-creating and performing in many spectacular Purimshpils in Philadelphia and NYC. In Philly these have been developed in collaboration with Jewish Voice for Peace Philly and with the Kol Tzedek congregation. In NYC, organized by the Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Workmen’s Circle/Arbeiter Ring, and Great Small Works.
- Unmasked: Has Purim replaced Passover as the best holiday vehicle for expressing individual Jewish identity? (Tablet Magazine, 2010)
- Wrestling With Esther: Purim Spiels, Gender, and Political Dissidence. (Zeek Magazine, 2006)
Sukkot is a another Jewish holiday that has been an inspiration for performances and events over the years, including some I co-developed in Philly and some I performed in with Jenny Romaine and the Sukkos Mob in NYC.
sunrise at hyde park (2014)
I performed the role of Lorena Hickok in the musical Sunrise at Hyde Park. Words & music by Tom Wilson Weinberg; with Heidi Hayes as Eleanor Roosevelt and Andrew Crowley as Ray Corry
Based on ELEANOR & HICK, words & music by Tom Wilson Weinberg, book by Peggy Stafford, original direction by Darren Katz.
Re:Galli Blonde (A Sissy Fix)
In 2010 I was part of the ensemble for this performance piece developed by Justin Vivian Bond and performed at The Kitchen. I was a lion made of feathers (!), costume by Machine Dazzle. Read more.
Between two worlds: who loved you before you were mine (2009-10)
Five deviant queers, their mythical beast secret identities, and all of their ghosts walk into a cabaret. The result is a play about yearning for ancestors, the empty spaces left by the first generation of AIDS deaths in queer communities and the way the next generation is called to fill those spaces. In a culture based on chosen families, which of our desires are inherited?
In this re-interpretation of Yiddish theater classic The Dybbuk, the consensual possession of a lover by the ghost of their beloved is a model for acknowledging the collective loss we hold and reflect in our queer bodies. The cabaret is a love letter to the ghosts among us. Read more.
Here’s a couple of archive treasures from my life as Ben Hesherman, bar mitzvah boy metalhead and 1999 Drag King of Philadelphia!
…The future of drag king performance is anyone’s guess, though no one thinks it will disappear. Nepon hopes the art form moves to the “edge of weirdness, politically, theatrically, and culturally.”Jewish Drag Kings Reclaim Male Roles for Women (Jewish Daily Forward, 2014)