From 2003-2004, I was a performer, designer, and puppeteer with the Gold Dust Orphans. Founded in 1995 by writer/performer Ryan Landry with Scott Martino, Afrodite, and Billy Hough, The Gold Dust Orphans is a drag theater company based in Boston and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Landry’s plays are smart and funny adaptations of film, theatre and pop culture. With the Orphans, I worked on Pussy on the House, Who’s Afraid of the Virgin Mary, and The Gulls.
Adapted from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in Pussy on the House follows Brick, a fading children’s show star, who returns to the family’s polyester plantation so he can reconcile with his dying parent, Big Mama. In Pussy on the House, I repurposed taxidermy into puppets to create Skipper (Brick’s children’s show co-star and secret lover who happens to be a raccoon), and squirrels who torment, Sukie (big Mama’s lover). I also performed in a number of ancillary roles, including as Aphrodite’s understudy. Pussy on the House was the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award.
Who’s Afraid of the Virgin Mary was an adaptation of Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In Virgin Mary, Mary and Joseph’s quarelling escalates when pagans, Nick Kringle and his wife, Honey Frost, set up shop in Jeruselum. While Joseph is threatened by Nick, Mary is set on seducing him. For this production, I designed, built, and activated barnyard puppets for Mary and Joseph’s manger and performed a nativity scene flashback with Barbie dolls.
Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, in The Gulls, a campy horror, deadly seagulls have terrorized the luxury gay resort destination, Provincetown amidst gentrification and overdevelopment. In The Gulls, I played Bundy, a lesbian ornathologist who warns the towns people about the onslought of sea gulls and Barbara Streissand’s corpse (after being pecked to death).
While with the Gold Dust Orphans, I frequently collaborated with David Hanbury, Ryan Landry, Scott Martino, Windsor Newton, Olive Another, Larry Coen, James P. Byrne, and P.J. Mc Whiskers who I went on to co-write Growing Up Linda and Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical with.
April 14, 2003 InNewsweekly
December 16, 2003, The Boston Globe
December 11, 2003, Bay Windows
“As a special touch, Providence-based puppeteer, The Marsian, contributed playful puppets to illustrate Mary and Joseph’s long journey to Bethlehem”
December 17, 2003, The Weekly Dig
“making the ridiculous insane in the best sense”
“The Barbie Doll nativity scene alone is worth the ticket price”
December 16, 2003, The Boston Herald
December 12, 2003 – The Edge
“dead funny puppeteering”
December, 2003 – Theatre Mirror
“the most startling entrance by a pig in years.”
October 3, 2003 – The Boston Herald