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Digital Program

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Learn more about the characters in Blonde on a Bum Trip

Cast & Crew

Playwright's Note

Very little trans history is documented. Figures like Candy, Holly and Jackie had to invent their lives in a world where what they were doing was essentially illegal. They turned to the glamorous stars they’d watched on TV growing up for role models, and in doing so, became some of the first trans icons themselves. Nearly everything you’ll see in this play comes from a historical source, be it a memoir, journal, documentary, or scholarly text about Andy Warhol’s Factory. The lives one finds in those stories are as unstable as they are captivating. Trans femmes in the U.S. during the era depicted here, with few exceptions, could either (A) do sex work and live as themselves, or (B) stay in the closet. Candy, Holly and Jackie chose (A),  but also became “superstars.” Watching the films FleshTrash, and Women in Revolt, in which they acted, takes a lot of patience and commitment, given the drug-addled amateurishness with which they were produced. The charisma each possessed leaps off the screen, though. Off-off Broadway plays and underground films brought one cache in the era depicted here, but not money, and the psychological scars they’d acquired as a result of living authentically left their scars and led to disillusionment. To an eighteen- year-old me, though, who’d never heard the word transgender, and couldn’t envision a future that involved living as myself, learning about Candy Darling for the first time was like encountering the burning bush – an awakening I never forgot.

Special Thanks

Reed College Theatre Department, Ronni Lacroute, and our wonderful community, past and present.

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