Talking Fringe – Erin Thompson from Slut playing at Toronto Fringe 2014

I’ve always been interested about how women’s sexuality is seen and treated.

slut title image

So I was pretty intrigued by the piece Slut set to play at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. I asked Erin Thompson if she’d take a bit of time to participate in a series we’re calling ‘Talking Fringe’. Check out our conversation below:

1) Describe your show in 7 words or less.

A one-woman, sexy, sassy, campy slut-pride cabaret.

Erin Thompson in Slut

 

2) What sets your show apart from other Fringe shows.

It’s hard to say what sets SLUT apart from other Fringe shows, other than the fact that it’s written and performed by me, with original music from Robert Steven Wilkinson and is directed by Dahlia Katz. Because truly, the team involved is the only thing that can set one show apart from another during such a diverse and creative festival of theatre. Even though themes or structure may be similar, each play, each performer is unique, and the audiences are as varied as the shows.

 

3) What is the most interesting or surprising thing you have you learned in the process of developing the show (whichever part(s) of the process you want to focus on).

What I have loved most about this development process is working with such a great team. The level of trust, support and connectivity has been wonderful. To have those moments where someone tosses out an idea, and everyone jumps on board because it’s an idea that strengthens and adds to the original concept is fantastic. I feel very privileged to have so many great people on side.

 

4) Has the tabling of the new anti-prostitution act (Bill C-36) by Peter MacKay influenced your exploration of the piece at all?

I originally conceived of this piece last fall, and have been working on the script since January, so recent events and legislation have not impacted the development of the piece directly.

 

5) Has the #notallmen backlash to the response to the shooting Santa Barbara shooting in May and the responding #yesallwomen had an influence on your exploration and development of the piece at all.

The issues brought up in the legislation and the #YesAllWomen are not new – what is new is the fact that it is permeating into the mainstream news and culture. People speaking openly and truthfully about their experiences can only be a good thing.
Erin Thompson Slut Poster
There is a common preconception regarding sexual promiscuity, particularly as it relates to women; that being someone who embraces a diversity of sexual experience means one is indiscriminate, that they aren’t choosey about who they are with – this thinking is a fallacy.

My hope with this piece is to contribute to the reclaiming of the word “slut”, to help move it from a slur to a celebration, and ideally, to cross-gender. To have both men and women use it to describe themselves, their personalities, and their experiences. This show is pushing at the stereotypes surrounding female sexual identity and the culture of partnering.

We have created piece full of nostalgia, desire, hope, and pride. It’s also got some catchy tunes, a little nudity, and a variety of wigs – a little something for everyone. And ideally, everyone will see a little of themselves in it too.

 

Slut plays at the Annex Theatre

Show times:
July 04 at 07:00 PM
July 05 at 07:00 PM
July 07 at 05:00 PM
July 09 at 05:45 PM
July 10 at 01:45 PM
July 11 at 09:45 PM
July 12 at 11:30 PM

Show length: 60min

 

Tickets:
– $10 for adults at the door (cash only) or $12 in advance (Visa or MasterCard, service charge included)
– Available via www.fringetoronto.com, by telephone at 416-966-1062 (ext.1), or at the door.

All photos of Erin Thompson by Dahlia Katz