In this multimedia extravaganza, the drag-huntress Victory Medusa leads audiences in a fabulous faux-ritual to stalk “the Man” and bring him to heal. “WAR Belly” is an interactive drag performance exploring male socialization and all its messy ramifications from a trans-feminine perspective. During the show audiences are led through a series of warped childhood games designed to uncover the violence at the core of male identity and explore how we can heal from the damage it reaps. Throughout these activities Victory Medusa performs drag numbers intended to frame the games and broaden the possible meanings the audience can find. These include both lip-synced songs and monologues, as well as remixed videos of childhood cartoons like Avatar the Last Air Bender and He-Man.
“War Belly” seeks to provide a “scaffolding of meaning” on which the audience can build their own understanding of male-violence that takes us beyond “men just need to feel their feelings.” Some of the underlying questions for this piece include: Is maleness as an identity fundamentally based in violence? Is there any way to separate maleness from violence? If not, where does that lead us? Also fundamental to the show is an exploration of male-socialization as low-grade torture. How might we create imaginative terrains where traumatized beings, whose current state of existence is saturated in violence, can both heal and find connection?