Speedo Activism: Intimacy and the Aesthetics of Resistance: Priscilla Page on Space Age by Ricardo Gamboa and Sean Parris
From HowlRound by Priscilla Page
"Gamboa and Parris are bold and brave artists who are also boyfriends. With Space Age, they set out to tell the story of how they survive and thrive as “queer, working-class, boys of color.” For just over an hour, wearing only their Speedos, they create an alternate world where superheroes and sitcoms shield them from the harsh realities of every day life. The play opens with the two embracing and being playful together in the bathtub and then moves back in time to reveal how they met and what their epic first date was like. Early on, Parris, speaking to Gamboa, remembers, “Your magic made me smile.” It is a tender line that illustrates the intimacy these two performers share onstage and off. Their romp through time and space is replete with their renditions of 90s R & B music, reenactments of action movies and cartoons, dance breaks, singing, and highly-stylized fight sequences. As they recall some of the darker moments in each of their lives, Gamboa turns the scene on its head by asking, “What if we only know ourselves because of our pain?” This question lies at the heart of this play. Gamboa and Parris model their sense of knowing themselves as a tool for on-going discovery, empowerment, and expression for everyone in the audience, especially the young, queer, people of color present each night. In a short promotional video about the work, Parris shares, “The things that we grew up with protected us in ways that we didn’t know. You can take whatever circumstances that you are in and just trust that you’ve actually been creating a roadmap that got you this far.”
Read the full article.
Parris (L) and Gamboa (R) in bed. Photo by José Rivera.
Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc.
Representing writers since 1928.