Burlesque Performers Fight Stigmas With Menstruation-Themed Show

In Performing Arts, Program Notes by Matthew Everettleave a COMMENT

Last year, Knoxville burlesque queen Siren Santina and her colleague Pepper Mills staged a surprising revue in Mills’ hometown of Indianapolis, Ind. The Best Show, PERIOD: A Burlesque Tribute to the Greatest Wonder of Womanhood featured performances by more than a dozen burlesque artists, all of them based loosely on menstruation.

“We were a little surprised at the response,” Santina says. “We didn’t realize it would connect with that many people. So we decided to go ahead and do it in my hometown as well and bring in a different set of performers and different interpretations.”

The Knoxville production of The Best Show, PERIOD is set for Saturday, July 2, at 11 p.m. at the Edge (7211 Kingston Pike). The new version features all-new acts and performers, including an instructional bit, a duet featuring a real-life couple, a piece on menopause, and at least a couple of male artists.

“We have a wide variety of points of view on the subject,” Santina says. “You can see a little bit about the personality of the performer in which aspect they chose to use in their act. … It starts with the theme of menstruation but you can see how it spreads to so many other aspects of womanhood and women’s lives and how it touches all these other facets of their experience of being a woman.”

Tickets to The Best Show, PERIOD are $10, available at the door. $30 VIP passes are available at thebestshowperiod.com. There will also be a collection of new and unwrapped sanitary products for distribution to the homeless and the working poor. “The cost of maintenance is something that doesn’t get discussed,” Santina says. “It’s treated as a luxury and not as a need.”

Senior Editor Matthew Everett manages the Knoxville Mercury's arts & entertainment section, including the comprehensive calendar section—Knoxville’s go-to guide for everything worth doing in the area. You can reach Matthew at matthew@knoxmercury.com.

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