Bottom Bride is a Southern Gothic rom-com about a wedding gone wrong. We gather to bear witness to the union between bridezilla Silk Worm and her betrothed, a swarm of bees. When the groom leaves Silk hanging at the altar, chaos ensues.
Bottom Bride takes place in a world where weddings are fun, insect marriage is legal, and you can always count on the ones you love. It’s a dumb show that goes deep, zinging from inhibitionless drag to highfalutin queer theory. Both playful and mournful, the piece celebrates the messiness of communion while blending the format of the Christian, American wedding with drag, contemporary dance, karaoke, physical theater, audience participation, and queer ritual. It uses the knee-jerk sentimentality of weddings as a platform to explore the contemporary politics of queer intimacy.
Bottom Bride has existed in three different iterations. In 2015, Silk first conceived of it as a 40 minute devised work and participatory performance with an ensemble cast. In 2016, Jenkin van Zyl translated this performance to video in a 20 minute high-pitched, high-camp trash film. The piece is currently being redeveloped as a solo for galleries and theaters, with costumes by Salome Mallari and a score by Jules Litman-Cleper.
June 2018, SAFEhouse for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
April 2018, HIT Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Work-in-progress showing of new solo version. Music by Jules Litman-Cleper.
August 2016, Berlin, Germany
A 20-minute trash film
October 2015, Elliot Program Center, Stanford University
A 40-minute immersive, participatory performance
with Silk Worm, Britney Smearz, Simone Hudson, Sage Behr, Nicole Bennett-Fite, Maggie Medlin, Peter Oathout, Erica Knox, John West, and Will Funk. Design team: Elliott Bomboy (lighting design), Alex Muscat (sound design), and Madelaine Bixler (light and sound op).
Awarded the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for Work Addressing Social Issues from the Department of Theater & Performance Studies at Stanford University.
Photos above by Chase Porter and Thomas Reidy.