The Maids’ The Maids
In The Maids’ "The Maids", Sister Sylvester partnered with domestic household workers in New York City to devise a response to Jean Genet’s notorious 1947 one-act, The Maids. Using Genet’s central device of maids role-playing as their employer to expose the subtle (and not-so-subtle) humiliations involved in domestic labor and the experience of immigrants, the performance invites contemporary domestics to use the theatrical space to stage experiences from their own lives. What emerges is a portrait of two separate New York Cities: a city that serves and a city that is served. One is for the increasingly affluent English speakers who can afford domestic workers, while the other—separated by language—is that of precarious laborers, often illegal immigrants, who serve them. In the waste and excess of this rich people’s playground, who cleans up the mess?
From Time Out New York:
“Director Kathryn Hamilton uses The Maids as a springboard into the most unstylish thing imaginable: the real world. The refreshing result (half-documentary, half-Genet) is chaotic, but it’s also productive and genuinely subversive.”
“The Maids’ The Maids accumulates...moments of aspiration and class-consciousness, only to pry at the edges of their innate absurdity.”
From The New York Times:
"Engaging and frustrating, imaginative and jumbled, original and derivative."
"An experience...like when you ride a roller coaster that shakes your insides."
Other Current Projects from Sister Sylvester:
an experiment in radical hospitality
WERNER HERZOG ON WRESTLEMANIA
a fictional documentary in which disasters of unimaginable proportions become workplace minutia
DEAD BEHIND THESE EYES
an exploration of political and social participation through the microcosm of the karaoke parlor