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  • Writer's pictureZibby Wilder

*World Premiere* Georgia and the Butch, this August, in Santa Fe...and beyond!

Award-winning playwright Carolyn Gage's new play, Georgia and the Butch, will be premiering in Santa Fe August 9-18! The play will be touring to Taos, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces, as well. Scroll to the bottom of this post for those dates.

The play, directed by respected director, writer, teacher, and actor, Robert Benedetti, will be performed by the New Mexico Actor's Lab. This incarnation of Georgia and the Butch is a departure from the online readings you may have previously experienced.

I asked Carolyn about the differences, and here is her response:

"The online readings were not as theatrical. We have added another historical character to the play, Mary Cabot Wheelwright, who has replaced the narrator. Mary was in competition with Georgia for the affections and attention of Maria Chabot, and her presence spices up the play with barbed humor and refreshing candor. This revision is much livelier and more dramatic. 

My inspiration was the published correspondence between Maria Chabot and Georgia O’Keeffe… in part, because it foregrounds a lesbian butch… an archetype historically absent from the stage, as well as hidden in history. And, indeed, Maria, who was front-and-center in Georgia’s life for a decade, has been written off as a friend, or an assistant. I really wanted to write her back into the record and also explore a relationship that reflected a complicated lesbian dynamic incorporating elements of the closet, of a mother-daughter relationship, as well as a toxic mentorship. One of the things that stood out to me was that Georgia understood and validated Maria’s gender non-conformity, which appeared to be a significant factor in Maria toleration of Georgia’s exploitation of her emotionally and financially.

In writing the play, it was my hope that audiences would come away with an enhanced understanding of Georgia’s dependence not only on Maria, but also her dependence on the woman who replaced Maria—Doris Bry. Enough with these myths about “exceptional women who made it all by themselves!”  I also want to put Maria’s narrative arc on the stage. It is a story of devotion and infatuation that is driven by society’s rejection of the masculine woman and of the lesbian. The story of Georgia and the Butch is an important one, a missing piece of women’s history."

I hoped to attend one of these performances, but it is not to be. If you attend, I would love to hear your thoughts! You can leave a comment here, or email me,, about your experience! 

August 9-10, 11, 16-17, 18, Santa Fe, NM:

August 22, Taos, NM:

Georgia and the Butch, Taos Center for the Arts. (New Mexico Actors Lab touring production) 

August 25, Albuquerque, NM:

Georgia and the ButchThe Fusion Theatre. (New Mexico Actors Lab touring production)

August 31, Las Cruces, NM:

Georgia and the Butch, The Las Cruces Community Theater (New Mexico Actors Lab touring production)

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