Stray is a meta-memoir based on creator Tanya Marquardt’s experience as a sixteen-year-old runaway and BDSM model, and a New York transplant writing about this earlier stage of her life. A punk show with references to Patti Smith and David Wojnarowitz, the show begins on November 1, 1992, the day Tanya runs away from home, and each song careens you through the chaotic years that follow – life with Tanya’s father, a traveling vacuum cleaner salesman, her first attraction to a girl and witnessing her self-cutting, being in a BDSM bar as an underage kid, a writing teacher’s praise, which saved her from suicide, and, how art sustained her throughout, poetically describing the pleasure of writing as “a left hand scuffing across the page like a club foot, or a piece of bread smeared in delicious sauce.” The book version is published as Stray: Memoir of a Runaway (Little A).
Stray was created on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples (Vancouver, BC), and on the Lenape island of Manhahtaan (Mannahatta) in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland (Manhattan, New York). We acknowledge the damaging effects of colonialism on these lands and its peoples and are committed to reconciliation. We stand for the protection of these territories and homelands, and offer our art as a gesture of care to all of our relations, past, present, and future.
Co-created by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson and Mallory Catlett
Direction - Mallory Catlett
Performed by Tanya Marquardt, Tim Carlson, Jon Wood and Ed Goodine
Text - Tanya Marquardt
Music - Tim Carlson
Dramaturgy - Brian Rogers
Costume - James Joseph
Stage Management - Ilena Lee Cramer
Theatre Conspiracy gratefully acknowledges the support of The Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and City of Vancouver of Cultural Affairs. Stray was originally commissioned by Theatre Conspiracy and the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver, and received development support from the Brooklyn Arts Exchange and The Tank in New York.
Theatre is Easy, Adrienne Urbanski, New York
“This compelling combination of memoir and music creates a truly one-of-a-kind theatrical experience...A work of dazzling ingenuity and raw self expression that hasn’t been edited and refined and dulled...Marquardt’s genuine passion for her art, and her admiration for the creativity of others, comes across strongly."
Theatre Scene, Darryl Reilly, New York
“Marquardt is a fine singer, has a likeable presence and a fierceness that infuses the presentation that’s based on her memoir with authenticity...A fitfully entertaining collage of songs and spoken word ruminations often accompanied by the band at varying volume...’Stray’ is patchy, spirited, marked by creative aspirations and succeeds on its own terms”