In Guy Dance, Tim Driscoll takes us on a very personal and autobiographical itinerary through time, space, and feelings. Four vignettes, each with its own time frame, are juxtaposed to present a multi-dimensional view on his life. The incongruities of the situations presented become points of reference that take on a spirit and persona of their own. Driscoll starts off in Phoenix, Arizona, his home town, in the early '80s.
Driscoll is concerned with his femaleness as it relates to his own expression of individuality. When he says, "I want to do things that girls get to do," he is poking fun at the straitjacket imposed on the male model that he refers to and portrays. He would like to swing and sway. Codes of acceptable, gender-appropriate behavior let the female model do so.
In the second vignette, Driscoll continued his metaphor on genders colliding in his dance belt. This time he played Prince Charming and Cinderella as they danced before a group of elementary-school children. His "package," or bulge between his legs, is the focus of attention of the young boys watching him dance. Again the female gets to do things that are more fun: "I have to do this while she gets to do this...,"
"Student Body" is the title of the third vignette, set again in Phoenix, in the early '80s. While Driscoll delivers a speech as president of the student body, a jock, a football player, shouts out: "Driscoll is a fag." Humiliation, pain, and humor all become intertwined.
In the final vignette, "Stretch," he conveys he doesn't want to be a girl, he just likes "being pretty sometimes." He is working in a lesbian bar in Akron, Ohio, where his unique natural attributes are the envy of the drag performers.
Driscoll's performance was quite superb. His striking appearance in a male-female ballet dancer's outfit was symbolic of the incongruous elements that this very talented young performer "collided" together. He could easily have impersonated Julie Andrews or this Victor Victoria's twin sister-brother; the resemblance was unquestionable. But the show is not about drag. It is about a young man's exploration of his female side, done with daring conviction and sincerity.
Terry Seeberg's direction was very much in tune with the performer/playwright's views and aesthetics. Costumes and music added variety and helped mark transitions of characters and locale. Movement and dance were integral components of this production as they were delivered with wonderful panache, timing and spontaneity. The set and lighting were quite minimalistic; the attention was centered on the performer's ability to transport his audience through time and space without the need of contrived or literal props or elements. The stage area was bare except for the final scene where Driscoll slithered and danced on a sofa in the style of Pina Bausch.
In July Driscoll appears in Dixon Place's Hot Festival, celebrating New York Queer Culture.
Copyright 1996 Milton Diaz
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