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The unattainable mermaid: An interview with Gina Young of Team Gina
The unattainable mermaid: An interview with Gina Young of Team Gina
by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Salt Water
Live Girls Theater
February 19 - March 7


Live Girls Theater is renting space to Poor Choice Theatre, a new company formed to produce Salt Water, a new play by Gina Young. Gina Young partners with Gina Bling in Team Gina, a favorite musical duo in the LGBT community.

Young says, "Basically, Team Gina is two Queer femmes who knew the instant we met that we had to do something combining '80s pop and hip hop, camp, drag and politics into a performance spectacle. We feel we are filling a niche that no one else does. Our performances are a party; we have songs called 'Boobies' and 'Wife-Swapping,' we rap and we dance and there's a little bit of kitsch but also a lot of thought and intention behind what we are doing."

Young describes the appeal of Team Gina. "We get to speak to our community - make them laugh and dance and feel represented - while simultaneously speaking from our community. I would like to think that we're part of a generation that is excited, rather than [cautious], about celebrating our Queer identity in our artistic work."

Young discusses the changes she has seen. "When I first came out, Lesbian musicians were such a sideline and a novelty. Sexism and homophobia were de rigueur, and the predominant pop culture representations of Lesbians were faux-Lesbian shock value acts like T.A.T.U. There has been a lot of change on that front. Now we have Tegan & Sara instead of T.A.T.U., and I think that's fantastic."

Young has a surprisingly extensive background in performance art/theater, mostly in New York City. She says, about her topic choices in writing, "I came to playwriting as an actress frustrated with the narrow scope of roles for women. Not to say that there aren't scores of fantastic female characters out there; of course there are. But few, if any, really spoke to my experience as a young Lesbian coming out in New York City. I write roles that my friends and I can relate to, and I tell stories that haven't yet been told."

Salt Water, her newest play, is about two young women friends who trespass on a New Jersey beach after dark one night. Their friendship unravels and ultimately self-destructs - with the help of a pimply lifeguard, a giant frog, a stray asteroid and a manipulative mermaid. "In a lot of ways, Salt Water is a play about unrequited love," Young declares. "The idea came to me following a really bad breakup. I was in love with a girl who left me after a year, and never spoke to me again. One of my cousins and I spent many hours by the sea, near her house, talking and coloring in children's coloring books. I colored in a picture of a mermaid, took it home and hung it on my bathroom wall. The mermaid came to represent the unattainable, to me. That which you are always looking for, but never find. And Salt Water, although it's very funny, is actually quite a serious play that examines how we often subjugate ourselves to meet someone else's needs."

For more information, go to www.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006.

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