A conversation with Sara Dipity on Star Trek: The Sexed Generation
~ Written by/interview by Paul O’Connell (POC Photo)
This Friday and Saturday (September 5-6) at Annex Theatre, Songbird and Raven bring you Star Trek: The Sexed Generation. It was only a matter of time before the Seattle nerdlesque scene rallied to produce a show entirely dedicated to the exploration of the final frontier. Like many other burlesque/nerdlesque shows of late, The Sexed Generation is fully scripted. Songbird and Raven is the realization of a dream shared by Sara Dipity and her partner Jacob Farley, who both obtained degrees in theatre (Musical Theatre and Theatre Arts respectively). BSP recently did a story about Sara and her involvement in Tassel Talk: A Peer Review. With a glass of Tranya in hand, I asked Sara about Star Trek and her new production company Songbird and Raven:
POC: Why Star Trek?
SARA: We adore it! Jacob grew up on Star Trek: The Original Series, while I caught Star Trek: The Next Generation in syndication every day after school. In 2013 we decided to watch all of Star Trek together; all six series (Original, Animated, Next Gen, Voyager, Deep Space 9, and Enterprise), and all 12 movies. I had already co-written The Last Burlesque Show You’ll Ever See and was about to co-produce Indiana Bones and the Lips of Destiny, two shows that melded burlesque and theatre. Star Trek seemed like the perfect canon to tackle; the episodes range from comical to deep political-social commentary, so we can explore gender, sexuality, self-worth, and power… and also make ridiculous jokes about Riker’s sexual prowess and Troi’s “psychic whammy.” As the incredible Crystal Tassels wrote about the show, it’s a space-age cultural study in tassels and sequin!
I had toyed around with the idea for a long time, about a year, with Jake always being supportive. I spoke about it with a lot of people and producers I trust and admire until finally I got a kick in the pants from Sailor St. Claire in the form of, “Yes, you can totally do this. Ask Annex for space.” I formed a little snowball of an idea, and she helped me push it down the hill. (Thanks, Sailor!)
POC: How did Song Bird & Raven come about?
SARA: Upon graduation Jacob and I found ourselves thrust into the economic downturn and recession. We both scurried to find jobs while doing our art on the side, and continued on this path for some time. In August of 2013 I felt like I met a breaking point. I found myself saying, “Well, I’m starting my fifth year in a job that I didn’t plan and don’t love. My B plan somehow became my A plan.”
We went into a discussion of dreams; what we wanted, what are strengths were, where we saw ourselves in 10 years, etc. That conversation revealed a vision: I wanted a production company. One that would produce quality work using our shared skills. One that would tell stories not often told. One that would elevate the art forms that I’ve been studying since I first took the stage at age five. We set to work. The goal, produce one stellar show combining our shared love of musical theatre, comedy, dance, and of course; burlesque and Star Trek. And here we are.
POC: What are your plans after Star Trek?
SARA: We have a ten year plan set. We’re solidly in year one. Year two, 2015, involves three burlesque shows: Broadway Babes: A Burlesque Tribute to the Great White Way (at Annex Theatre, March 20-21), World Cups: Burlesque in the Wide World of Sports (location TBD, June), and Star Trek: The Sexed Generation II (tentatively titled “The Wrath of Brawn,” at Annex Theatre, September 10-12). In 2015 we’re also looking to produce a sketch show featuring exclusively female writers and performers, as well as a full length straight-play.
After that? We expand as we can, producing a mixture of theatre, burlesque, and sketch. Our eventual goal is to own a space – to give the Seattle artistic community the space they deserve, with all the bells and whistles (and lights and sound and trapeze rigging etc.) that we can. We’re driven to create a community space; a place for artists to put up their best work, and for the Seattle public to consume it. Our space will be a love letter, a tribute, an offering to Seattle; the best place we’ve ever called home.
POC: Finally, Kirk or Picard?
SARA: I grew up with Picard. He’s strong, diplomatic, smart, dreamy, and Patrick Stewart is an incredible actor. Kirk on the other hand is scrappy and resourceful…and also dreamy. Everyone on the original series is dreamy! Ack! I don’t know! Picard! Kirk! Picard! Kirk! Janeway! Picard! I can’t decide!
Incidentally Songbird and Raven will be taking over producing duties for the show Revelry, as current producer and founder Queenie O’Hart is leaving us for New Orleans.
Star Trek: The Sexed Generation
Featuring Performances By:
Lady Drew Blood
Sailor St. Claire
Jesus la Pinga
Sin De La Rosa
and Verity Germaine
Stardates: 8:00 PM, September 5-6, 2014
Coordinates: Annex Theater, 1100 East Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122
Get tickets HERE.