INTERIOR: Cabin Rainbow Rippers at Camp Wanatachi.
JANA, a Converse-sporting 13 year-old is reading the Bible on her bunk.
Across the room, smoking hot 13 year-old TITI is painting her nails on her single bed.
13 year-old LAUREN, sporting French braids and Soffe shorts, is examining a photo beside TITI’s bed.)
Lauren: Ahhh!!! Is that – How do you have a picture with the Senior Lifeguard from the boys’ side?!
Titi: (nonchalantly) Billy?
Lauren: You know his name?? I’m dying – I’m dead –
Titi: I went down on him last year.
Lauren: (whispered) You were twelve last year! (JANA closes her Bible and listens intently.)
Titi: Billy had a big one. Y’all might not know this, but not everyone does: sometimes they’re small like pickles or baby carrots. I couldn’t let something petty – like the “legal age of consent” – keep me from such a huge opportunity.
Lauren: Isn’t it – um – harder to – do that to someone with a – big –
*TITI SINGS “YOU GOTTA USE SPIT.”
(TITI ends with a fabulous final pose. LAUREN, delirious with awe, has fallen into a trance. JANA is far from amused.)
Jana: I don’t get how you can talk about sex so casually like it’s no big deal.
Titi: Sometimes it’s casual.
Jana: If I ever have sex with someone they will be unable to talk about it so super casual, because the memory of our congress will pound them from the inside with such a sweaty immediacy, that they only way they could talk about it would be by composing a symphony.
Titi: I guess I’ll have to have sex with you then.
Jana: I guess so.
The above excerpt is from a musical I wrote called Camp Wanatachi. Jana is essentially me at 13, but with a better collection of Christian ska records. I, like Jana, fell in love with the sluttiest girl at camp, set out to convert her and eventually fingered her in my bunk bed. After which she totally ignored me. This encounter made such an impression on me that I have spent the last three years exploring the experience and the context in which it occurred.
More than a traditional musical, Camp Wanatachi also involves related video, photographic, sculptural and performance components that exist independent of the musical proper. Whether remixing Camp Wanatachi songs at MoMA’s P.S.1 while dressed as a giant strawberry or videographing young girls covering each other with bug spray, my artistic universe is ruled by weird manifestations of innocence remembered, indulgent glorifications of girl-on-girl banalities and increasingly desperate attempts to listen to the Holy Spirit when he whispers about the poetry and purpose of heteronormative aberrations.
As I prepare for my next multi-media Camp Wanatachi gallery installation, I keep wondering… you guys fingered each other at summer camp, right? I mean, what pubescent girl didn’t experience some kind of Sapphic sensation during midnight marshmallow roasts?
I am seeking stories from women who had any kind of lesbian experience at summer camp for use in my installation this summer at Ramiken Crucible, a gallery on New York City’s Lower East Side.
Please send an audio or video recording of your story, no more than 5 minutes in length, to firstname.lastname@example.org before May 30th.
Lo-fi DIY recordings are encouraged!
Please see www.campwanatachi.com for more information. Please send any and all questions email@example.com