How to Shave in Six Easy Steps
September 10-October 4
Pass the Hat
Step 1) Remove the safety from your razor.
Step 2) Apply shaving cream
Step 3) Explore one queer kid’s struggles with grief, gender identity, and the delicate art of shaving.
I’ve gotten a whole lot better at shaving over the years.
But I still hate it.
The seeds of this piece were planted five years ago, back when I was a high school senior with a bright red neck and face full of nicks and bumps. I wanted to write an autobiographical essay, or article, or something about shaving. I imagined that throughout this something I would weave in stories of personal tragedy and existential crisis with the hard facts about how shaving works. But, at 18, with a severe lack of life experience and self-knowledge, I never wrote that something. I went off to college, where so many of the dots in my life would soon connect.
I was queer! This whole time!
This explained… a lot about me. I switched my pronouns to they/them, overhauled my wardrobe, and got to work on deconstructing myself while wading through an overflowing course load.
Partway through said deconstruction, I wound up in a class on Solo Performance. This was the final semester of my senior year; it required a big project. My mind returned to that something about shaving I never wrote, and I realized that now was the time. I found that contained within the act of shaving was all my essential parts–my family, my self-perception, my body and my relationship to it.
How to Shave is very much a play about processing. Processing loss, processing the self, processing the difficulties of growing up. Butting heads with the limits placed upon how one is supposed to understand oneself. Pandemic be damned–I’m still putting on this show.
I hope you brought extra aftershave.
Because I sure didn’t.
This show will be free to view online on Vimeo.com.
Please note: This show contains references to grief, partial nudity, internalized queerphobia, self-harm, shaving, and brief suggestive language.
Recommended for 18+.
About the Artists
Collin Spangler (Creator/Performer) is a young theater artist from Wheeling, West Virginia and based in Philadelphia. They graduated from Swarthmore College this past fall with a major in Theater and a minor in Religious Studies. They seek to create visceral, fast-paced works of theater that are less like traditional plays and more like “”genre-bending endurance sports.”” How to Shave is their third piece of devised theater–the first being Boy in Pants, a play about young people navigating depression and suicidal ideation, and not her glass but you, an a-genre, rigorously physical performance about body image internalized misogyny, co-created with Clare and a third friend, Zaina. They hope you enjoy the show!
Clare Grundstein (Dramaturg) is a recent Swarthmore graduate from Bethlehem, PA. She double-majored in Psychology and Theater, and views dramaturgy as the perfect meeting point between those two passions. She also writes music, poetry, and plays. In fall of 2019, she directed Bedroom Scene — an original one-act produced by Swarthmore’s Drama Board. Her work on this piece was intensely transformative, and helped her to realize how personally empowering it can be to stage untold stories. She is excited to be a part of this unique iteration of the Fringe festival!
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