(In February 2009, the Bard Queer-Straight Alliance hosted an on-campus performance of Peg-Ass-Us with a post-show discussion.)
From: Shawn[a] Powell
To: Sophie Nimmannit, John Leo
Bringing PEG-ASS-US to Bard College was WILDLY successful! John and Sophie's cleverly staged exploration of Pegging promotes an honest engagement with human sexuality: silly, playful, romantic, vulnerable and downright funny as it is. Exploding gender roles and tackling delicate issues of sexuality with necessary reverence and quite a bit of wit, the duo enlightens and transcends our notions of male/female and gay/straight, attracting and entertaining a diverse audience.
The performers found creative and fun ways to involve the audience, making PEG-ASS-US a really valuable community experience (in addition to a fabulous evening of theater, puppetry, music, dance, and performance art). After the performance, the entire campus was buzzing--the show gave students access to an opportunity and language for the discussion of sexuality, sparking many interesting conversations campus-wide. Quite extraordinarily, John and Sophie also made themselves entirely available to chat or answer questions after the performance, allowing students to be included in examining the many ideas and issues that PEG-ASS-US raises.
For Bard, PEG-ASS-US was much more than a performance. With humor and sensitivity, it opened doors for conversations and altogether promoted a more nuanced, open-minded notion of sexuality. In all my time producing performance in college, I have never seen anything that had such a widespread and uplifting effect on a campus. After bringing John and Sophie through Bard's Queer-Straight-Alliance, I came to the conclusion that PEG-ASS-US had the power to stretch our definitions of sexuality--it is not a gay show, nor is it a straight show, in fact, the only prerequisite you need to gain something from the show is to be human. (Okay, and probably be old enough to watch PG-13 movies!)