Drunk Girl by Thea Fitz-James
August 18 – 20, 22- 26 at the Old Strathcona Library
An interview with Thea Fitz-James.
Describe your show in one sentence.
Drunk Girl is an intellectual and performative exploration of the space where women, feminism and drinking meet.
Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description of your show?
It’s part theatre piece and part storytelling show. Drunk Girl explores the intimacy, tenacity, celebration and terror of women who drink. We watch performer Thea Fitz-James analyze what people say about drunk girls, her own drinking, and family rituals. She asks, through 2 enigmatic characters, why so many smart, high-achieving women, seem to love a drink or 10. Drunk Girl is that moment when the party takes a turn, but it’s too late to leave: we’re implicated now, caught in a rollercoaster of calorie-counting keg parties, false feminisms, denial and love. Is the Drunk Girl a contemporary crisis or a radical feminist?
Your show features two characters – the drunk girl and the academic. Where do these two characters come from, and why were they the right two to tell this story?
These two characters are foils for one another. The Drunk Girl is my former, 18-year-old self: this larger than life, ‘bad’ feminist, drinking to feel powerful and to express her power. The academic is also a version of myself (or who I may become), but is loosely based on the women in my family– my mother, aunt and grandmother– who are all high-achieving, powerful women who love to drink. So these two characters speak to the different drinking habits that women embody across generations. The drunk girl drinks to be powerful, the academic drinks to feel in control. They both feel objectified by a world that does not give a damn about them, and they use drinking as both a crutch and a sword.
This will be your second time performing Drunk Girl at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. What were some of the most memorable/impactful audience reactions from your previous performances of this show?
Well, the show has changed a lot over the year, which is why I wanted to bring it back. Mostly, the memorable moments come during the audience participation section of the show: no spoilers, but it’s always pretty epic!! But also, some of my best audiences have been self-identified Drunk Girls. Women who are there with their friends, who are maybe a sheet or two to the wind, who are laughing not because what they are hearing is funny (although sometimes it is), but they are laughing because they recognize the character. They’ve lived through what the drunk girl has lived through– the parties, and the bullshit, and the pain and they love; they get it. So I definitely encourage women to have a few drinks before the show, and then jump on the emotional rollercoaster with me.
Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
This show is dark comedy about drinking… but it’s not a straight comedy. So it’s got the dark with the light. As all good fringe shows do 🙂
The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca .