#fringebuzz with Avery Reid & Oprah Lemorin of Messy Blueprints to Sexual Freedom

by Caleigh Crow

Avery Reid and Oprah Lemorin join me at the QDF office to talk about their upcoming St Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival show, Messy Blueprints to Sexual Freedom. The pair co-created the piece by drawing inspiration from their own experiences and putting them through a performance blender to create a funny, welcoming, and mediative play about what it means to be sexually free. Oprah describes the show as a “theme driven montage” rather than a linear story.

She says, “We tackle many concepts in the realm of sexuality: orgasms, sex education, the paradoxes of being perceived as either promiscuous or a prude,” she says invintingly, “Come on a little journey with us.”

For Avery, the chance to produce her own feminist work is an exciting one for her, professionally. “I often feel very overwhelmed by the political side of feminism and looking at the issues and problems, thinking how can we possibly fix this? Reflecting on it in a personal light helped me feel like I can make it my own and made me feel like I can tackle it.” She continues, “We’re two cisgender straight women, there’s other sides of sexuality that we can’t talk about, and we want to acknowledge that. There’s more to this conversation but this is what we have to offer.”

Oprah’s just glad to be in a position to be working on her theatre practice, and producing her first show from start to finish is an effective crucible. “Being able to create work for yourself is good, and finding out the things you have to do to see that process through. I personally underestimated how much was going to be asked of me, I’m not complaining, but I was surprised.”

Oprah and Avery combine their personal experiences with hypothetical questions, hopes and fears to create a swirling odyssey. Audiences can expect to be presented with many scenarios, but the pair are quick to remind me that these are strictly their impressions, and that your mileage may vary. “We are reflecting on so many subjects throughout the piece and we hope that we inspire the audience to reflect on the subjects for themselves,” Oprah says, “We want to make sure that whatever we tackle is not fact, its opinion and experience, we’re not in the wrong we’re not in the right we just are.”

She adds, “Its three-quarters autobiographical. Sometimes we float into the absurd with certain scenes but its very much our thoughts and opinions.”

Messy Blueprints to Sexual Freedom will be playing at the MAI from June 7 -17 as part of the St Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. To purchase tickets, click here. For all our QDF #FRINGEBUZZ articles, click here.