The VSP: Origin, Purpose, and Mission.
It all started innocently enough. The year was 1999. Mark had taken a playwriting course at Walnut St. Theater School. There, he workshopped his first full length play, "Just as Long as She's Dead". Shortly afterwards, Community College of Phila. was about to start up a brand new Acting Club, its first ever. The idea was for students to meet up on their free time and mount their own production, with no help from the faculty. Mark immedeately saw this for what it was: the perfect chance to put up the very first production of "Just as Long..." Mark showed up to the first meeting, clutching a copy of his play. And, since no one else who'd shown up had ever written a play, Mark's moment had arrived. Unfortunately, acting club rules stated that one person could not write and direct, so the directing reigns were handed over to some hack who never knew when we were rehearsing. But here, Mark met Chaz Love and Jeremy Smith. And thus, The Valerie Solanas Players were born. "Just as Long..." went up, people complained to the school about the content, and the boys' bloodlust increased. The Acting Club disbanded, but Mark, Chaz, and Jeremy stuck together. Now, with all the sucky people gone, they were able to ask people to come to the next show without the embarrassment of explaining why half the cast was horrible. With each show, the VSP got tighter and stronger. More and more cast members hopped aboard our Hellbound train, sick of "traditional theater". Over time, they've built up a small, but loyal fan base. With all shows completely self produced, the VSP have become the hottest underground theater company to hit Philly, ever! And, they have the distinction of being Philly's first and only Satanic theater company. They let the world know just how stupid it really is. They make you laugh at those who are more misfortunate than you. They dress in drag, do drugs, and shoot people with glee. With every show they continue to push the envelope, and explore the most frightening regions of the human psyche! We will sink to any depths to get a laugh. No one is safe from our take-no-prisoners style of comedy. Topics we've covered so far: Cannibalisim, necrophilia, pedophilia, devil worship, skinheads, drug addiction, the mentally handicapped, serial murder, Christian hypocrisy, and more! Curious? You know you are. So, come see our next show, "THE NIGHT BLEEDS TEARDROPS AT THE FUNERAL FOR OUR SOULS or: ME AND MY GAY GOTHIC FRIENDS"!
So, who's Valerie Solanas?
Valerie Solanas was a radical, militant feminist lesbian during the 60's. She was also a playwright, and something of an actress. During the mid to late 60's, she hung around Andy Warhol's "Factory" crowd. But even among these so-called artists, Valerie was a total outsider, never really accepted by the group. She wrote a play, "Up your Ass", which she gave to Warhol to produce. However, Andy sat on the play for a long time, and wouldn't return the copy to Valerie, even though it was one of the only ones she had. She even starred in two of his films, "I, A Man", and "The Bicycle". Unfortunately for her, Andy wanted to concentrate solely on films at this point, and never really considered producing her play. Things came to a head in 1968, when Valerie shot him, claiming that "He had too much control over my life." She is also famous for writing the feminist classic, The SCUM manifesto, where she calls for all women to seize the power away from all the men in the world, condoning murder, if necessary. So, why Valerie Solanas? She was an extremist, on the fringes of a stuckup, pretentious art scene. She took a shot (literally), at everything that was popular at the time. She was a violent little bugger who was never able to fit in. So, fo all these reasons and more, Valerie Solanas best embodies the work that we do. We love you, Valerie!
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