Truth in Performance
Where is the line between performance and identity?
Becca Blackwell’s They, Themself, and Schmerm at Under the Radar is a stand-up comedy-esque solo performance of their experience as a person non-conforming to society’s gender roles. Key words: their experience.
While critiquing theatre can become a sort of hobby of elitists - musing “well I would have said this” or “it shouldn’t have done that” or “this could get the story across better,” - just how do we understand and think critically aboutstories that are not our own?
Becca Blackwell gave a specific, detailed account of transformative moments in their life. The nature of Becca's performance is not just only gender non-binary individual revealing personal secrets. The stand up act is exactly that - an act. Now, of course, there are layers and elements of truth in the same way that thereis truth in every performance. Most plays and devised work hasautobiographical elements.
My question for Becca is where is the line between fiction and nonfiction in this show? Becca even said in the performance that certain aspects of their life was omitted. Their grip on the reality was not so firm.
Does this really matter?
In effect, the question is not how or why Becca told their story, but in the end what story was actually told and what is does to the audience that is watching.