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Songs of Bilitis

The World’s Greatest Work of Counterfeit Greek Erotica!

Based on the French erotic novel written by Pierre Louÿs
Adapted for the stage by Katie Polebaum with Rogue Artists Ensemble
Directed by Sean T. Cawelti
“Rogue Artists Ensemble, under the distinctive hand of director Sean T. Cawelti, applies its signature mixed-media stylings of shadow play, puppets, masks and ritualized movement to their best effect yet. The perfumed flamboyance manages to be simultaneously solemn and goofy, grave yet playful. Their lens may be contemporary, but within that perspective they immerse themselves deeply into fin de siecle bohemian sensibility, conveying a dripping wetness of sweat, smoke and other indiscreet secretions.” – Hollywood Reporter

Songs of Bilitis is an erotic psychological thriller, exploring the true story of how and why a flamboyantly heterosexual avant-garde Parisian novelist successfully impersonated a lesbian Greek poet in the most elaborate erotic literary hoax the world has ever known. Rogue Artists Ensemble combines multi-media projections with puppetry, movement, sophisticated live audio-sampling and larger-than-life Greek masks to transport us through a world of sexual power struggles and changing identities. It’s Moulin Rouge meets Debbie Does Dallas meets Inception in this innovative Hyper-theatrical ride through our deepest desires.

Mature audiences only, contains nudity and adult themes.

View the trailer:

Hear the KXLU Radio Interview:

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“Why do love affairs always end miserably?” – Pierre Louÿs

Additional Credits

Christina Aimerito, Angela Brockunier, Stephen Elrod, Estela Garcia, Aryiel Hartman, Heidi Hilliker, , Zach Kanner, Steve Madar, Christopher Rivas

Sound Design
John Nobori
Scenic Design
Sarah Krainin
Mask Design
Keith Mitchell
Video Design
Matt Hill
Puppet Design
Cristina Bercovitz
Lighting Design
Haylee Freeman
Costume Design
Kerry Hennessy

Songs of Bilitis was originally commissioned by the Getty Villa Theater Lab for a workshop presentation in March 2012.  Support for this project by the Richard C. Munroe Foundation, LA County Arts Commission and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

More Rave Reviews

“A jaw-dropping performance…It was sexy. It was memorable—full of raw passion and desire at its best…Sexy and edgy, every scene in Songs of Bilitis was different, making me feel as though I had taken a trip into an “X-rated Tomorrowland” or a hallucination of some sort. Every touch, every thrust, every heartbreak was felt deeply by the audience.” –LifeInLA

“A story about inspiration, creation, and the obsession of a writer possessed. Rogue Artists Ensemble has produced a uniquely theatrical experience that cannot be captured on film and cannot be conveyed in mere words.” -Mad Theatrics

“Through tender cadence and consuming warmth, the entire cast is thoroughly spellbinding…Gracefully interpreted antiquity is gorgeously buttered with modern injections of subtlety and style.” – StageandCinema

“[Songs of Bilitis] pushes the boundaries of theater…The sensuality and passion demonstrated by the cast brings this obscure story to life, and is enhanced by the mesmerizing onstage chemistry between Rivas and Hartman…it takes a really unique look at art, literature, and the range of human emotions and sanity.” -Neon Tommy