Winter in New York can be rough, but at least there’s the Exponential Festival to get us through. Each year, this pageant of the bold and experimental plays in venues big and small throughout north Brooklyn. One such show is worth checking out thanks to the title alone: Bernie Sanders Wants to Take Away my Fire Island Time Share: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. The mind behind the hilarity is comedian and performance artist Xalvador Tin-Bradbury, known as I’m Going to Marry Your Dad. A surrealist comedy that satirizes the influence of neoliberalism in gay culture, Xalvador’s play runs January 8 and 9 at Honey’s, the meadery in Bushwick (93 Scott Avenue). Read more about the play and its creator as part of our Thursday Spotlight series!
Greenpointers: Let’s cut right to it — can one be a Fire Island Gay and a Bernie supporter in the soon-to-be year of our lord, 2020? What if the gays want to have a home in the Pines and a socialist in the White House?
Xalvador Tin-Bradbury: The piece actually has less to do with the politics and more to do with the social conditioning that comes from taking about politics online. I try not to preach political views in my art cus everyone’s mind already seems to be made up…but to answer your question: maybe?
Your show seems to pitch vapid gay culture against the ethics of our neoliberal era. What made you want to write about this?
One day I was on the Facebook echo chamber and Bernie Sanders had posted a video about Medicare for All. Some corporate gay I was friends with had commented “go away” on the post. I laughed so hard and thought, Bernie Sanders wants to take away his Fire Island timeshare.
How does creating from a place of social critique or satire empower your work?
I am such a fan of political Facebook posts, they are so stupid and pointless because they don’t really accomplish anything. People confidently talking about things they actually know nothing about is so beautiful and these are the people who’s stories must be told.
How did you come to learn about/get involved with the Exponential Festival?
I caught a performance of Lily Chambers and Hannah Kallenbach’s show Two Girls One Hot Dog at the Glove (RIP) as part of the Exponential Festival a couple years ago and it was so gross and weird and beautiful — I thought to myself, this is probably something I should be a part of.
Important Q: will Robyn’s latest album be blasted at Honey’s?
I can’t promise any Robyn, but we will have a special rendition of the High High Hopes Pete Buttiegeg dance available on a never ending nightmarish loop.
Did Tony Kushner authorize the rights to your subtitle, and do you care?
We actually had to fight to keep the subtitle in. We thought corporate gays who are scared of socialism is the modern fantasia of national themes. Also, we don’t care.
You’ve been living and working in and around Brooklyn for a number of years as a performance artist. What has this community meant to you? What are you looking forward to in the new year?
Making art with your friends is definitely the secret to happiness. I have some fun projects coming up next year — a lot to do with memes.