Catherine Hernandez currently starrs in one woman show The Femme Playlist, which looks at her experience as a queer, brown, single mother. We recently got a chance to chat with the mega talented playwright/performer about her writing process, how she got her burlesque name, and everything in between.
SDTC: What message do you hope the audience takes away from The Femme Playlist?
CH: That femininity is revolutionary. It is what topples colonial structures of ownership, knowledge, sexuality and gender and that’s why it’s dangerous. If we celebrate femininity we can move forward leaps and bounds.
SDTC: What inspired you to write the play?
CH: I was interviewed by Ron Jones in a Harlem radio show where interviewees to give the playlist of my life and speak about it. As well I hosted the Brave New Girls retreat for queer femmes of colour and realized my narrative was an important one to share. The facilitator of the retreat, Kim Katrin Milan kept telling me “everything you’re saying is important. Keep going.” So I did.
SDTC: Tell us a bit about the process! What the most fun aspect?
CH: The most fun is developing this in femme fashion. My director Gein Wong is also a queer femme and we use a lot of intuition and play to move forward in our work. It was exactly what I needed to make this play a reality.
SDTC: What’s your burlesque name, and what initially attracted you to the burlesque community?
CH: My burlesque name is “legs” because the performer Dainty Box said I had the best legs in the business. I was attracted to the craft because it helps with the reclamation of the body and radically reverses rape culture ideas. This is my body. I am showing it to you on my terms. Don’t touch me unless I ask. Now applaud.
SDTC: What’s next for you? Do you have any other exciting upcoming projects you can share with us?
CH: I am developing my new play I Cannot Lie to the Stars that made me, which is a theatrical guide to healing and mourning for women of colour. Gein will be directing again and I will be in residence with b current.