(presented at the Substation Blackbox as part of the Singapunk 2014, part of the Singapore Biennale in January 2014)
short story short: 7 queerdos (me, Raksha Mahtani, Vanessa Victoria, Tania De Rozario, Ad Mauloud, Sage Lee and Germaine Yeo) performing spoken word pieces about growing up different in girls’ schools.
Seven people. Seven totally different backgrounds. All they have in common: Vaginas. Writing. The shared trauma of wearing a pinafore and a few dramatic years in all-girls schools (mostly convent schools, except for me). Oh, and maybe an ex or two. Or an ex-of-an-ex or two. Or three. Give them three weeks and put them on a stage. And this is what you get. ONE OF THE MOST EXPLOSIVE SHOWS I HAVE EVER BEEN PART OF.
We aimed to share and tell stories about growing up queer (in every sense) in all-girls schools. We ended up talking about demonic possession, etiquette class, butch/femme expectations, lesbian speed dating, gender chaos, being a bully, that one brilliant teacher, classmates who call themselvse barbarians and army songs. It sold out to a full house. And I ended up with some of the most amazing/weird friends for life.
MASS HYSTERIA RELAPSED
(rewritten & presented at the Arts House Black Box as part of Indignation 2014, August 2014)
So people liked us so much they asked us to perform another Mass Hysteria for Indignation!
In this version, Mass Hysteria Relapsed we wanted to explore what it meant to leave school and be queer adults in the ‘real world’. Tania couldn’t be part of it, so rising spoken word star Marylyn Tan got stuck in, as did Illi Syaznie on the guitar. It was a riot, from an opening piece that involved each of us playing a different part of a vagina (that would put Eve Ensler to shame), to pieces on religion, abuse, mental health, bisexuality, labour relations and life in general.
what the peoples said:
–“As I said: best. What better way to spend an afternoon than listening to the voices of creative, queer, feminist women?”— sweet review by Pooja Makhijani
–“Loud. Strong. Unapologetic.” —article about us (& the Sekaliwags) in Mothership by Kirsten Han
-“being in Mass Hysteria has been described as ‘life-changing’, and I fully concur. perhaps it’s because I’ve never felt that I was allowed to be blatant about queerness in art”
— blog post by Marylyn Tan