NYC performance artists to stage one-night-only show at Cornell

By: Julian Robison,  Department of Performing and Media Arts
February 22, 2018

When: March 9, 2018, 5:00 p.m.

Where: Flex Theatre, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Performance artists Erin Markey and Becca Blackwell explore sexuality and identity in an evening of cabaret, comedy, and solo performance, pushing the boundaries of theater in their performance of “We Tried to Stop and We Can’t” at Cornell’s Schwartz Center on March 9.  

The New York City–based performers will enact excerpts from their solo shows before coming together for a joint performance. Minimal staging will allow the couple’s personalities to shine.

The New York Times describes Markey as an “alt-cabaret star with swaggering confidence and an off-kilter sense of humor.” Markey’s shows frequently reflect on her sexuality and her experience growing up in the Midwest.

Blackwell is a trans/gender-non-conforming actor who recently appeared as a queer priest in several episodes of the Showtime hit Shameless. Blackwell, who uses “they” pronouns, continually explores the performance and reception of their self-presentation. Gender self-representation, navigating the realities of moving to New York City from a small town, religion, sexual abuse, and the challenges of finding themself are just some of the topics with which Blackwell engages throughout their performance.

“Erin and Becca’s work demonstrates the possibilities afforded by performance across different mediums and genres; this type of art-making practice is just what we need during this current political moment,” says Cornell University Department of Performing and Media Arts assistant professor Karen Jaime.

Following the performance, Jaime will lead a talkback with Markey and Blackwell.

“We Tried to Stop and We Can’t” is free and open to the public. The performance is Friday, March 9, 5:00 p.m., in the Schwartz Center's Flex Theatre. The event is co-sponsored by Cornell University’s Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts is located at 430 College Ave. in Ithaca.

Julian Robison '20 is a communications assistant for the Department of Performing and Media Arts.