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The Empress Of Sex – 5 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2012 Planet Connections Festivity)

by The Happiest Medium on May 26, 2012

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The Empress of Sex

Benefiting: Planned Parenthood
Produced by G-Money Productions
Written by Duncan Pflaster
Directed by Glory Kadigan

“In Ancient Greece, a woman spurned in love finds a deserted island and sets herself up as the Empress Salacia, decreeing that there shall be no love allowed in her domain, only sex. She gathers some sybaritic acolytes and all is frolicsome mindless fun until Salacia’s ex-lover Agis comes to the island in disguise, to attempt to win her back.”

Show Times:

  • Mon 6/4/12 – 7:30pm
  • Wed 6/6/12 – 9:30pm
  • Sat 6/9/12 – 5:30pm
  • Tues 6/12/12 – 4:00pm
  • Wed 6/13/12 – 9:00pm
  • Sun 6/17/12 – 9:00pm
  • Mon 6/18/12 – 4:30pm
  • Fri 6/22/12 – 9:30pm

Answers by Duncan Pflaster (Playwright)

Karen Tortora-Lee’s Question
How did you come up with the title for your show?

Duncan: Well, the play is about a woman who gives up on love and devotes herself to sex; she sets herself up as Empress of an island devoted to sybaritic pleasures. Unlike my other play, that was always the title from the genesis of the project. I only found out later that “The Empress of Sex” was also a title for Mae West, which I think is awfully appropriate.

Diánna Martin’s Question
If you were going to invite 5 people (from the past or present) to see your show – who would you invite … and why?

1. Mae West – she fought so hard against censorship in the theatre in the 1920s with her ribald plays, often going to prison and being fined for presenting her work; it would be an honor to have her in the audience (though she would probably insist on taking over the show and playing the lead).

2. Pierre de Marivaux – seeing a production of his play The Triumph of Love was a HUGE inspiration for this piece (though I inverted the sexual tropes); the character of Agis in Empress is named after a character in that play.

3. Heinrich Von Kleist – Likewise, his tragedy Penthesilea was a big influence (Which I encountered through Eric Bentley’s translation/adaptation The Fall of the Amazons).

4. Charles Ludlam – I am continually inspired by his plays and his Ridiculous Theatre ethos; with his recrafting of classical tropes infused with modern sensibilities, he’d feel right at home here. He and Mae would need to have a slap fight for the titular role.

5. Patricia Comstock – one of my favorite actresses, the play is dedicated to her (I think she already has tickets).


Antonio Minino’s Question
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made for your art and was it worth it?
Duncan:  Continually sacrificing. Usually worth it.


Geoffrey Paddy Johnson’s Question
Was there any unexpected discovery made during the development of this production and can you share it with us?
Duncan: I’ve been super-busy this year, since I have two shows going up in Planet Connections; Glory Kadigan is directing this one, and I’m directing The Taint of Equality ~or~ I Want Your Sex. I discovered I get very grumpy when I can’t be present at rehearsals and am thus out of the loop.

Michelle Augello-Page’s Question
What do you hope the audience receives from the experience of seeing this show?
Duncan:  Like my other show, I hope they laugh, are titillated, and still go home thinking about the philosophical issues related to love and sex that are the meat of the play.  Hehe, I said “meat”.


Another great show by playwright Duncan Pflaster! See his other 5 Things To Know …for The Taint Of Equality. Why not see both shows? Twice the Duncan – Twice the Fun!



Planet Connections runs from May 30 – June 24 at The Bleecker Street Theater located at 45 Bleecker Street, New York, NY. To purchase tickets to this or any of the shows click here.


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