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Peggy Shaw

New York, NY

Born 1944, Belmont, Massachusetts

In my art, I have been trying to describe the world that I have created while creating it. Never accepting the confines of the "normal" North American world, I make performance and theater, for those interested in hearing the poetry or point of view of a 60 plus year old, second generation Irish, working class, grand butch mother. I have been described as masculine. Actually I am a new kind of femininity. I am interested in testing masculine-feminine and butch-femme as markers. I want to go way beyond the boundaries of the girls room and the boys room. I see endless horizons and new ways of creating and defining ourselves on this difficult greedy planet which is weighted and distributed so heavily toward the white heterosexual masculine. It has seemed, at some points in my time here, that this planet wants to tip off its axis and spill all that bull shit into the black hole and start again. This particular political time is even darker than usual with few visionaries to altar the course. To me being an artist is paying very close attention to our surroundings and having the privilege of twisting the mirror in order to reflect new images back on the culture. I get up every day and do the best I can to create and teach new visions not old ideas.

Writer, Performer, Teacher


1995-Present: Solo Performance Artist and Writer; currently touring the United States and UK with Menopausal Gentleman and To My Chagrin.

1980-Present: Co-Founder, Writer, Collaborator, Designer, and Performer Split Britches Theatre Company, New York, NY

1980-Present: Co-Founder, Designer, Teacher, Curator WOW Theater, New York, NY

1977-1980: Collaborator, Performer and Designer Spiderwoman Theatre, New York, NY

1972-1977: Collaborator, Performer and Designer Hot Peaches Theatre, New York, NY


2000 Rockefeller Foundation MAP Grant

1999 Village Voice "Obie" Award for Menopausal Gentleman

1999 New York Foundation for the Arts Award

1998 New York State Council on the Arts Grant for Salad of the Bad Cafe

1995 First Out on the Edge Theatre Award

1993 Artist in Residence, University of Hawaii, Honolulu

1988, 1995 National Endowments of the Arts Grant

Year Awarded 2004
Category Performance Art/Theater