In Gaybaret, a show originally written for their wedding, David Mielke and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma explore how one’s life itself can become a work of art by taking the seemingly random experiences that life can present and discovering ways to weave them together into a meaningful whole. They share stories of friends and mentors, storms and gifts, and how even the hardest experiences can help us to be ready to say yes to a life-partner—gay, straight, or otherwise.
As part of the show’s public premiere, Vashon Center for the Arts, the Vashon Heritage Museum exhibit “In and Out: Being LGBTQ on Vashon Island,” and 4Culture are pleased to sponsor a special panel that sets Gaybaret’s themes of hidden shame, mentoring, and marriage in a wider set of perspectives. We’ve asked five distinguished panelists of different ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to share stories and reflections in response to the question of how we transform into our truest selves. How does art help us know ourselves more fully? How can rituals like a ceremony of marriage or theater itself offer the possibility of healing? How do we make sense of historical change as we experience it in our own lives, acknowledging both the blessings and the curses of the past?
We invite you to join our panelists in a spirited exploration of the art of being who we are.