Carrie Fisher once said to “take your broken heart and make it art.” I aim to live by these words, which is why all of my solo shows have been derived from my real life experiences–experiences so crazy that fiction can’t even compare.
So I took my failed polyamorous marriage and turned it into a solo show. I developed the story at open mics, stand up gigs, and storytelling shows in New York City. You see, I needed to write PolySHAMory in an effort to make sense of myself and my experiences. I needed to write it for all of the women who’ve found themselves in a pickle. I needed to write it so that we can laugh at our pain.
My mother, on the other hand, would rather I not dramatize the details of my sexual history to audiences across the United States. At previous shows, my mother has begged me: “Please don’t do this; you’re embarrassing yourself and me.” Look, I am a tithing, regular-attending member of Middle Collegiate Church in New York, and this show definitely bucks some of the values I was taught growing up in a small town in Texas, but you have to push boundaries to reach people. Art is about telling tough, complicated truths about the human condition. People want the truth told skillfully — they crave it!
Every single time I do this play, I get amazing responses from audience members who see pieces of their lives and experience reflected in it. Yes, this is a play about my experience in a polyamorous marriage, but it’s also a play about my childhood, about my parents, about anger and abuse. One of my favorite reviews called my preview show: “A rollercoaster of emotion with a Goldilocks balance of comedy and drama.” That’s what you’ll find with PolySHAMory: a perfect balance of titillating drama and heart wrenching pathos.
Kate Robards is a founding company member of FOGG Theatre and former board member at Cutting Ball Theatre in San Francisco. She is an award winning writer and performer with a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from California College of the Arts. Since 2014, Kate has been honing her craft as a monologist and story teller and touring her plays across the United States and internationally. Her first solo play Mandarin Orange premiered at Capital Fringe in Washington, D.C. in 2014, where the Washington Post named it a “Fringe Festival Highlight” and the Washington Times dubbed it a “pick of the week.”
Kate has also been featured in a multitude of independent films and web series, playing everything from a 1940s housewife to a modern day, crack-addicted prostitute. Kate currently trains at The Barrow Group and performs stand-up and improv regularly in New York City in addition to touring across the United States with her plays.