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Now, we are going to recap the top seven reasons why we have been producing community shows, not burlesque shows, this summer.
Reason # 1... Strip tease is a means, not an ends.
As neoburlesque artists we see striptease as a means, not an end. Sinner Saint's philosophy is that burlesque empowers women to use their bodies to tell a personal story, challenge the internalized and institutionalized political landscape, manifest musical works of art, evoke joy, embrace sexuality, and to educate audiences in an engaging, humorous and deeply intentional way. We recognize however, that there are many art forms that women use to feel empowered and liberated. This means we have to be willing to speak in other artistic languages, and need to showcase all the forms of art that help women find strength and solidarity.
Reason # 2... We movers and shakers. But, did you know that we are also risk-takers?
You know us for our internationally acclaimed show-stopping neoburlesque, but we want to push the burlesque envelope...because we love a sexy new challenge. And social justice is sexy. Sinner Saint is weaving in a new social justice platform to our well-known brand of entertainment and doing something few others are doing. We are producing shows that curate local talent and engage the community. We are producing shows that attempt to not only entertain you, but that's purpose is to invite you into a conversation with other community members. We believe holding a safe space for our community to listen, watch, learn, feel, talk, share art and better understand one another will build a stronger, more resilient and more socially just community...and world. We take risks to stretch ourselves personally, professionally and creatively. This year we are embarking on a many new firsts and creative adventures: a full-length theatrical show, we're including more singing, we're choreographing four times as much ensemble work, we're adding film to our shows, we’re integrating a stronger social justice platform into our brand, we’re directing short film videos….and in the Summer Series we’re producing shows with the purpose of community building.
Reason # 3... The personal is political.
Unless you've been living in a teeny tiny hole your whole life, you know that women's voices, bodies, choices and lives are consistently a subject of political debate. The women of Sinner Saint use their agency to both entertain their audiences, and help them heal from the wounds of patriarchy, misogyny and violence against women by celebrating all of which women are capable. In the Summer Series, we are creating an exalted space for women in our community to share their personal and political art and stories, and to heal. Art is political. Performance is political. Demanding a space for women to be heard, seen and celebrated is political. And, we like politics as much as we like pasties - heck, maybe we'll even run for office one day!
Reason # 4... Beyond your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
Uncomfortable experiences help you grow. Sinner Saint celebrates the liberation, sensuality and sexuality of the human experience using burlesque as a medium (and we have a damn good time doing it too!). But, not all women do. Not all women feel empowered, have agency over their bodies, and can triumph over slut-shaming, body shame and sexual violence. Not all women feel safe to stand up for themselves, feel comfortable in their own skin, and accept their own worthiness. Not all women have stories with happy endings. While we love exemplifying the possibility of radical self-acceptance, we believe it is essential to hear all the voices of women - especially the ones that are uncomfortable and painful to hear. These stories are as necessary to witness as the liberated sexy ones. As Lady Tatas says, "You’ve got to feel it to heal it," so we are making space for both the celebratory and challenging experiences women have to help us all heal, connect and grow. Leaving the comfort zone is essential to healing. "The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears." - Dan Stevens
Reason #5 - We are turning 7 into 7,000,000.
Evilyn, one of the original co-founders of Sinner Saint, has stewarded the professionalism, growth and leadership of this troupe for over eight years. As we lead up to our fall full-length theatrical production, Sinner Saint is working to create a conversation larger than can be had by just our seven members. Painting a picture of what it means to be a woman today requires hundreds and thousands of diverse voices. While our seven stories are important, they are not enough. We need YOUR voices too. Sinner Saint wants to explore the experiences of women, and a burlesque show with just our stories wouldn't suffice. This means reaching outside of our troupe to harvest stories and various forms of performance art.
In order to paint a picture of what it means to be a woman today, we need you. In order to declare a new legacy about what it means to be a woman, we need you. We are starting with 7. We will grow to 700 (our Facebook page is already at 611 'likes'!). We'll expand to 7,000. Then set our sites on 7,000,000. We are not producing a burlesque show because we want 7,000,000 people rising to join our conversation... and we couldn't find a venue big enough to fit all 7,000,000.
Reason #6 - New frontiers and new derrieres.
Sinner Saint is eternally grateful to have such a loyal and beloved following. For the October Inheritance Show, one of our goals is to connect with different audiences and invite them into our world of entertainment, education and advocacy. We plan to make new friends in new frontiers and put new derrieres in all 1120 of Theatre Off Jackson's chairs. Who do we want to connect with?
- People who have never seen burlesque before
- Theatre-going audiences
- Community artists: singers, dancers, painters, poets, etc.
- Organizations working for equal rights and opportunities for women
- University students and professors studying sociology, psychology, gender and women's studies.
- Families: Grandmothers, mothers and daughters
Reason #7 - Art has impact.
Last year Sinner Saint hosted its first ever talk back at the Can Can. We wanted to hear what impact our art was having in the world, and were humbled by the response. Our art is about storytelling. For the first time, we had the honor of hearing how our stories influenced you, and we were in turn deeply moved by you sharing your stories with us. Take it from this Showgirl Scholar, stories will change the world. Erin Morgenstern describes the impact of stories by saying, “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” It fills us with gratitude to learn from your stories and share ours with you. We want to continue to hear how our art has made a difference in your lives. We want to create a space that allows other performing artists to influence the world with their art too. You are our teachers. We learn from your experiences, your voice and your participation.