Taking its title from MTV’s hit reality TV show, ARE YOU THE ONE? The ultimate queer dating game: each contestant must use their unique musical language to attract their “perfect match.” As four sexy singles strive for harmony—literally—tempers flare and clothes come off. With tears and wistful love songs, will they find “the one”?
Like the best (worst) reality shows, the piece ends with a twist: the contestants discover they can’t find their “perfect match” because “Perfect harmony is only truly achieved through the collective body, when the voice of each individual reflects the product of their labor and supports the collective community.” The lights fade over the dictatorial host’s pseudo-communist arm gestures as s/he gives a diatribe about the unification of (wo)man and machine.
As such, the piece is simultaneously a campy reality dating show and an absurd illustration of socialist political regimes and their spiral into fascism. As I indulge my earnest inclinations toward communism, I nod toward the legends of Soviet terror that line my family history. By placing stereotypes of queer women in a socialist framework (both of which undermine the hetero capitalist patriarchy promulgated in reality TV dating shows), I attempt to link queer collectivity with alternative political ideology. Just as queerness offers the opportunity for expanded notions of family outside a normative structure, so too can it offer a model for alternative modes of governance. ‘ARE YOU THE ONE?’ pushes back upon the exceptionality complex built into American political structures, declaring: there’s never just one.
Made in collaboration with:
September 29-30, 2017: The Brick Theater (NYC)