Dressed in solemn white, their bodies roam the stage drenched in a pale blue light; they weave in and out of pillars, in and out of stories, in and out of genders. Queer Bathroom Stories resurrects the ghosts of bathrooms past as Flurt attends the opening night of the very queer, very interesting, very different play. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto is currently home to the main stage production of Queer Bathroom Stories. The play, originally formed for The Fringe Festival in 2010 with much success, has become a Toronto LGBT cultural statement – pulling together 100 interviews with LGBT folks on their experiences in washrooms – the good, the bad, the sexy.
Sheila Cavanagh, playwright and sex academic, first penned the book titled Queering Bathrooms: Sex, Gender and the Hygienic Imagination which was then transformed into the play which won an Audience Favourite Award at the Toronto Fringe Festival. From stories of assault to stories of empowerment to tidbits of sexploration within the confines of the privately public and publicly private space that is bathroom stalls, Queer Bathroom Stories left us breathless with compassion or laughter and sometimes both simultaneously.
Upon seeing the play, Sheila hopes she impresses upon audiences the imperative space bathrooms have provided for queer identities throughout their history.
“The stories span from the devastating to the sublime, the traumatic to the passionate, the mundane, to the curious, the comic and everything in between,” Sheila said of the 72 characters the three mightily talented actors of QBS take on. “Audiences will leave knowing there is something inherently erotic and traumatic about bathrooms; something endemic to queer life-worlds.”
If you’re in Toronto anytime before June 15th (the closing night) make sure to drop by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre to catch one of the final productions of this monumental LGBT play!