Readings of Jerker performed this summer and fall!
Artists Maxe Crandall and Emmett Ramstad present a semi-staged reading of Robert Chesley’s 1986 play Jerker, or The Helping Hand: A Pornographic Elegy with Redeeming Social Value and a Hymn to the Queer Men of San Francisco in Twenty Phone Calls, Many of Them Dirty. Jerker tells the story of two strangers who develop an erotic fraternal relationship through phone sex. As the two characters get each other off, they demonstrate the power of sexual fantasy in processing the grief, rage, and loneliness of living in pandemic.
Inspired by their obsession with Robert Chesley’s archive at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco and supported by a Eureka Commission from Onassis USA, Ramstad and Crandall are at work on a performance installation focused on “corresponding intimacies,” a term they use to describe deep bonds people create through experimental relations. This event launches their national tour, which is organized to provide free performances at archives and queer/trans spaces while allowing them to conclude their research.
This reading of Jerker is given courtesy of Victor Bumbalo of the Robert Chesley Foundation, Broadway Play Publishing Inc., and through funding from the Eureka Commission from Onassis Foundation USA.
65 min semi-staged reading followed by 25 min discussion.
Content Warning: graphic sexual description, kinky/BDSM scenarios, death, AIDS
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