When I originally heard about Honey: An Immersive Performance at Oklahoma Contemporary that’s coming up this month, I got really excited. It’s about time we got another installment in the Jessica Alba-led hip hop dance movie franchise. But then, I was told that it’s actually an immersive performance. So, naturally I assumed that Jessica Alba was coming back to Oklahoma to plaster some more shark posters across downtown OKC.
But again, I was wrong.
Honey is actually something completely different, and definitely the sort of thing that we need more of in Oklahoma City. Inspired by recent interviews with Oklahoma sex workers and patrons, Honey is a performance about female labor and the way female bodies and work are valued in America.
That sound you just heard was all your local conservative politicians spontaneously combusting. They do so much to deny the voices of women and condemn sex (while negating the role sex work plays in Oklahoma) and then Oklahoma Contemporary and Fresh Paint just up and put on a show about it!
Honey is part of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Women in Performance series – three major works that are created and performed by women. Honey specifically looks at women and how far they’re willing to go to get what they need.
So if that doesn’t already have you hooked, which it totally should, here are 5 reasons you need to go see Honey: An Immersive Performance.
1. Honey is a devised work, and not your standard scripted play.
This means that the crew got together and worked through questions and core issues together to create the work, rather than starting with a script.
2. Honey brings together Oklahoma and New York artists.
Fresh Paint, a group of Oklahoma performing artists are partnering with Oklahoma Contemporary to produce the world premiere. And Katherine Wilkinson, a queer director based in New York City, will direct it.
3. Honey tells stories that don’t normally get told, especially in Oklahoma.
The work focuses on how sex workers are valued or stereotyped in society. This work tells the story of women, and uses an all female-identifying cast to tell it, all while examining the parallels between sex work and other professions.
4. This is Big League City-type stuff.
We always throw that term around when it comes to professional sports, but it should also be used for art. When shows premiere here and bring in directors from New York City, that’s Big League City.
5. If we want to see real representations of Oklahomans in the media, we have to support it.
Honey is based on real interviews with Oklahoma sex workers and patrons, and it’s the sort of thing that we don’t get enough of here. When we don’t support transgressive works that showcase what actually goes on in Oklahoma, we wind up with more episodes of Sweet Home Oklahoma and Street Outlaws. And we don’t really need that.
You can check out Honey: An Immersive Performance at Oklahoma Contemporary June 14-16 and June 21-23. Buy your tickets here. And for more information about Oklahoma Contemporary and what they have going on, click here.