Antigravity Performance Project
in Residence at BAC July 8th through the 13th
The Antigravity Performance Project is in residence at Bethany Arts Community July 8th through the 13th, 2018.
Dear Diary LOL is an ensemble-driven comedic theatre work born verbatim from the real-life, tween-teen diaries of the show’s actual creators. Dear Diary LOL explodes its source diaries with moments of direct address, music, dance, and physical comedy, colliding the style of melodrama with the inherent humor found in the earnestness of young girlhood musings (with all the benefits of hindsight). Antigravity’s devising ensemble invites you to cringe, laugh, and cry at their most earnest desires, deepest fears, secret shames, and terrible poetry written as coming-of-age girls in the late 90s/early 2000s.
Why this project? (from Lead Artist Francesca Montanile Lyons)
“A while back, I found the diary that I kept when I was 13. It was written almost exclusively in glitter pen. I read it. I was so ashamed that I hid it and pretended it didn’t exist. Then I found it again years later. I read it again. I held my breath the whole time. I couldn’t believe that I was the same person who wrote those words. I felt intensely embarrassed. So, naturally, I decided to share it with an audience of friends, peers, and strangers by using it as the source material for a performance project at the Pig Iron School in Philadelphia. As I gathered a team of hilarious women to make the work, others in the ensemble offered their diaries as source material too. From there the piece was born.
After studying the source diaries, it became abundantly clear that concerns, questions, and desires around sex were the biggest unifying theme. As adults, we have trouble thinking about and talking about the sexuality of young girls. This silence is damaging. It encourages a culture where young girls learn it’s more important to be objects of desire (which leads to increased social status) rather than subjects of desire (which is met with disgust and shame.) More than ever before, there is less separation between the media and pop culture and teenagers, who are forming their senses of self based on representations all too readily available on the internet and social media. I want to talk about-and laugh about-young sexuality instead of pretending it doesn’t exist like we so often do, leading girls to furiously scribble in diaries or fumble in the dark trying to understand it, afraid to ask a question, feeling shame and confusion about curiosities that are indeed natural. By exposing the secret words we wrote when we were young, I want to let today’s young girls know that they are not alone and provide a moment of communal relief/reckoning for those of us who have come out the other end.”
Antigravity Performance Project is a devised performance company with a creative aesthetic rooted in play, ensemble, movement, music, and found text. As an interstate company, Antigravity makes work in RI, PA, and NY led by Kym Moore (Providence, RI), Francesca Montanile Lyons (Philadelphia), and Michael T. Williams (New York City).
Antigravity’s interdisciplinary performance works have been praised for their “beautiful visuals” (Phindie) and “extraordinary physical performances” (Broad Street Review). The New York Times called the company’ first work Yermedea Raw “energizing and frightening” with “haunting images” and Mark Cofta of Broad Street Review called Dear Diary LOL “hilarious and touching” with “vividly honest performances.”
Antigravity is Co-Directors Kym Moore (PVD), Michael T. Williams (NYC) and Francesca Montanile Lyons (PHL) and Associate Artists Kyle Dacuyan, Megan Thibodeaux, Alicia Crosby, Sarah Knittel, Gina Murdock, Jenna Strusoswki, Shanti Pillai, and Michael Costagliola (Resident Composer/Sound Designer).
Company Name: Antigravity Performance Project (www.antigravityperformanceproject.org)
Project Name: Dear Diary LOL
Lead Artist: Francesca Montanile Lyons (www.francescamontanilelyons.com)
Co-Directors: Francesca Montanile Lyons & Michael T. Williams (www.michaeltimothywilliams.com)
Ensemble of Performer/Creators: Alicia Crosby, Megan Thibodeaux, Jess Johnson, Jenna Strusowski, Kelly Conrad, Nikki Hudgins.
Sound Designer: Tom Carman