Gold Dust Orphans

2003-GDO-Web-3x-150dpi Gold Dust Orphans, 2003-2004
Gold Dust Orphans, 2003-2004

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.

Pussy On The House, 2004, Photo: Joel Benjamin
Pussy On The House, 2004

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, 2003
Who’s Afraid of The Virgin Mary, 2003

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.

The Gulls, 2003
The Gulls, 2003

Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, in The Gulls, a campy horrordeadly 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
“delightful puppetry”

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