The 'mane' attraction
By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer
Forty performers will take to the stage in the Rotunda Theatre this week to share their experiences losing, growing, removing or flaunting their hair.
“We’re so glad that we are able to put on a production featuring some of Kingston’s most talented professional and community artists,” says Queen’s drama professor Kim Renders, the artistic co-ordinator of Hair Lines. “We have spoken word performances, movement pieces, and lecture-style talks all connected by music.”
Our manes are the main focus of the latest production for Chipped Off Performance Collective. According to Professor Renders and Chipped Off members and PhD candidates Dan Vena and Robin McDonald, what people do with their hair defines and signifies them.
Each two-minute performance is given by contributors from the Kingston community, many of whom are Queen’s faculty, staff and students. As a specialist in large-scale artist/community theatre collaborations, Renders has thoroughly enjoyed stitching all of the various pieces together.
“Hair Lines is funny, political and poignant,” she says. “I think I can best describe it by comparing it to a quilt: there are lots of different pieces but they are all connected and flow together.”
For Professor Renders, the best part of the process has been seeing many first-time performers get up on stage and share their pieces with the audience.
“This project brings professional Kingston artists of diverse disciplines together with dozens of community members to create a theatre spectacle for anyone who has ever plucked an eyebrow, gone for a Brazilian, combed over, shaved off, braided, lost or cried about their hair,” she says.
This show is Chipped Off’s second original production and opens to coincide with Kingston Pride.