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Stroke of Genius: Pantomime Masturbation Throughout Performing Arts History

Cheeky Sex-Themed “Lecture” Blends Academic Pretentiousness with Absurd Clowning

Innovative, award-winning team to premiere the satire Stroke of Genius: Pantomime Masturbation
Throughout Performing Arts History at mid-May arts festival

The plot’s description reads:
Dr. Walter Winkworth-Pérez has devoted the past decade of his academic career to the study and preservation of a highly specialized art form. His research has made him the world's foremost expert on pantomime masturbation conventions dating back to ancient Greece. Attendees of this prestigious multi-media lecture series will become familiar with techniques and regional styles of comedic simulated self-pleasure in their correct historical contexts. Those who were unable to obtain seats in last semester's workshop, "All In the Wrist: Vaudeville Jack Practicum," will enjoy this exclusive expanded material. This week's syllabus has an additional focus on the mysterious genius who immortalized timeless theatrical skills on the 1920s silver screen. Dr. Winkworth-Pérez will present an in-depth study of the man who became the sultan of sexual subterfuge, the master of the affected "wink-and-whack": the legendary Spankin' Shyster himself.

Although educational in nature, this special enrichment presentation does contain explicit and potentially offensive material and is consequently not suitable for students under age 18.

The venue—The Fringe Theatre—may be Tampa’s newest professional performing arts space, but the host organization is well known in Tampa theatrical circles. The Fringe Theatre is operated by the Tampa International Fringe Festival (now in its eighth year), an organization dedicated to incubating and promoting outside-the-box artists’ performances. Housed in a recently renovated 1929 building on Ybor City’s main avenue, this space is part of the new Kress Collective artist colony.

Each weekly performance of the feature presentation—clocking in at 45 minutes—will be accompanied by a short opening act from a special guest to round out the evening’s entertainment. The first guest has yet to be formally announced, but Tampa Fringe producer Trish Parry is quoted as saying, “Tampa’s community of Fringe artists gives us a wealth of choices when it comes to comedy openers. Our pool of talent covers so many genres: stand-ups, novelty musicians, burlesque acts, you name it…all dedicated to collaborating on our shared goals. And, of course,” Parry jokes, “the fact that our cast-and-crew beer fridge is full of good, strong imports helps pull in talent, too.

Boiled Horse Productions includes writers, performers, designers, and others who have collaborated on previous theatrical successes. Stroke of Genius was created in partnership with Vulva Va-Voom & Co., a scripted vaudeville/cabaret team (founded 2006) with multiple experimental theater circuit honors, including three Edge Award wins, two Venue Choice picks, and a recent Social Good Award.

The head writers/actors on the Stroke project were honored earlier this year by having their collaboration Vulva Va-Voom: Hollywood Psychic of the Golden Age selected by jury to appear in the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Winter Mini-Fest. This month, they began touring Hollywood Psychic out of state and plan to tour Stroke nationally over the next few years.

Stroke of Genius is exactly the story we have been wanting to tell,” said Shane Mayforth, Founder at Boiled Horse. “Is it a story that needed to be told? That’s going to depend on how easily offended you are. To me, it’s about three things: one, the futility of looking for hidden subtext where none was intended. Two, the absurdity of people who fixate on inherently stupid subject matter. And, most importantly: three, the opportunity to make d**k jokes. So many d**k jokes.

Stroke of Genius features nine professionally shot and edited “silent film” segments, a careful balance of intellectual and juvenile humor, historically accurate points of interesting trivia, and– as previously stated– many, many d**k jokes.

Performance Dates:
July 7, 2023 at 8:00 pm
July 14, 2023 at 8:00 pm

July 21, 2023 at 8:00 pm
July 28, 2023 at 8:0 pm

Tickets: $15.00

Purchase Tickets:

Location: The Fringe Theatre (in the Kress Collective building), 1624 E 7th Ave., Ste 307, Tampa, FL 33605 (Directions/Map)

Tampa Fringe Info:

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