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FRIGID New York Festival 2011 – Five Questions For: Saving Tania’s Privates

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 6, 2011

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Welcome back to another installment of FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A!  We’ll be running these throughout February until the Festival starts, so be sure to check back to read all about the great shows that will be taking part in the festival.  Also – don’t miss the winner-take-all game of Rock Paper Scissors! Today’s Q&A is with Tania Katan who is the Writer/Performer of Saving Tania’s Privates

Funny, outrageous and true! This critically acclaimed comedy hit from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will have you laughing till you weep. A show about far-out families, quirky girlfriends and boobs…but not necessarily in that order.

Saving Tania's Privates (Photo by Joe Jankovsky)

Saving Tania's Privates (Photo by Joe Jankovsky)

answers by Tania Katan Writer and Performer

Antonio Asks: What makes FRIGID such a warm and welcoming experience for your production?

Um… have you seen your website? Seriously, it’s like The Happiest Medium only hires super hot, totally accomplished, culturally astute people. The only thing that could make my Frigid experience a little warmer and more welcoming is if I could spoon with ALL of the Contributors at The Happiest Medium. And maybe I could be on the inside of the spoon, with K.B. dangerously close to the soft curve of my spine.  Or a t-shirt. I’m not sure what THM is offering as “official sponsors.”

Diánna Asks: What about this play do you feel most drawn to personally, and because of that, what message do you hope the audience walks away with?

Although I didn’t have me in mind to perform this one-woman play based on my life—DUH—I came to understand that if I am exploring the absurdity of the body, whether queer or ill or healthy or in motion, it’s my job to inhabit my body, perform live, and connect with an audience so I can say, “I’m here, I’m alive, this is my story, what’s yours?”

Hopefully, audiences will be reminded that they have an opportunity to live their lives with more urgency, humor and love. They will leave with a framework for finding the humor in awkward, vulnerable and shocking situations.

Karen Asks: That’s some title.  How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?

Saving Tania’s Privates. Well, I was sitting around thinking about my tits, and probably other people’s tits too, I’m a Professional Lesbian so it’s all part of the job, and I was missing all of the tits in my life, and also thinking about this word “survivor” and how it’s linked to both the breast cancer movement and veterans of war. Then there’s the fact that I seem to be losing private parts at breakneck speed, and at one point in the play Elmer Fudd offers me a wifle so I can bwow my way out of my sad cartoon cell. Fudd, battling surgeons who are ninjas, disco dancing around relationship land mines, lots of sex (with self and others), and running the ultimate race to find out why my body is waging war against me so I can have a shot at saving my life … Saving Tania’s Privates made sense. It was either that or Why Tania Can’t Go Swimming, but I’m saving that title for the after-school television special version.

Stephen Asks: You must have a favorite part of your show.  What makes it your favorite?

I love Nurse Fred. He brings a gay sensibility that makes me feel at home in the hospital. His fondness for Tales of The City is trumped by his fondness for Macabre Tales of The Hospital.

Nurse Fred: Only five doors down from us is a man with the flesh eating disease. Do you know how he got it? He was playing basketball, he goes to make one of those shots, what are they called? Come on, you’re a lesbian Tania. OH, a Lay Down! He falls, scrapes his ass, gets the flesh eating disease! He only has ONE BUTT CHEEK. Do you drink from water fountains, Tania?

(I shake my head somewhere between Yes and No.)

Nurse Fred: GOOD, because I like you. I can’t tell you how many germs are festering on the tip of a fountain.  You might as well give a stranger a rim job!

Lina Asks: How much of your show was inspired by true events?

100%. It is all true. Unless you ask my mother, and she’ll say, in a thick French accent, “Tania likes to use, how do you say, creative license.” My twin brother will say, “What is truth? Inspiration? Lina, have you heard of Food Not Bombs? Do you want to share a vegan meal and some information?” And my father will say, “Are you challenging my daughter? Huh? She’s a fucking genius! You know, when she was a baby I used to take her with me in my cab, and we’d drive around Manhattan, and you know what she would do? She would look out the window and smile. That is when I knew she was a fucking genius! Truth? What the fuck is that? Now The Rockettes, that’s where it’s at!”

THM Bonus Question: If you could play a virtual game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with another FRIGID Show which show would you take on?  And what would you throw?

Wonder Woman: A How To Guide For Little Jewish Girls. Because she looks littler and more Jewish than me! I firmly believe that marginalized groups should work hard to keep each other down, so that others don’t have an opportunity to do it to us first! SCISSORS, Wonder Yid! Let’s see what you got!

Thanks Saving Tania’s Privates – for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A.  And for playing our game!  You’re officially SCISSORS.  So you may win TWICE.  Or, not at all.  This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT! For the rest of you – don’t forget to check out Saving Tania’s Privates!

Saving Tania’s Privates
Written & Performed by Tania Katan
Presented by AJ Epstein Presents Seattle, WA
UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place) $12
Wed 2/23 @ 7:30pm, Fri 2/25 @ 9pm, Sat 2/26 @ 1pm, Tue 3/1 @ 6pm, Wed 3/2 @ 7:30pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 10pm

FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.

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