TM: You did this show in London, then took it apart and reassembled it. Why?
SHAW: I think we just weren't happy. We're tackling a lot of new things. Our aesthetic is an uncensored, unbridled one. But when you're dealing with a person of color in the cast--Stacy doesn't have a right to be that in a way. We've gone through the criticism from the queer community, saying we shouldn't do this, we shouldn't do that.
WEAVER: We shouldn't represents lesbians this way, we shouldn't represent lesbians that way. We've been through that on the gender and sexuality front, but it's another thing on the interracial front. I also think the difficulty of the stories became our difficulties. Peggy and I had worked together, so there was a history--a history that was very difficult and very fraught. But because we've worked together, we have a very easy vocabulary, we're a couple identified by the audience. So it was important to make sure there was a balance between the three of us. The issues [in Salad] around leaving and being left were real issues that we were all going through: Stacy had come to live with Peggy in New York, and then had come to live with me in London. There're lots of jealousies--not romantic, but friendship jealousies.
SHAW: They're pretty romantic.
TM: What was a major wish for each of you as you created your characters?
WEAVER: To be mean. I wanted to play a certain aspect of nastiness in Tennessee Williams. He was racist and sexist and yet there were lots of other things about him that were quite radical. I wanted to play that contradiction.
MAKISHI: My fantasy was to portray gay male sex. I think that's pretty sexy. I wanted to be a cowboy and get it on with some dude, and in that last scene where my hand goes limp, I don't know--I wanted to ejaculate basically. (Laughs) The character sort of fails. That's something personal in terms of my sexuality, I suppose. Everything is autobiography.
SHAW: My wish was NOT to wear a dress. I'm not getting my wish. But I realized last night in watching Lois--I haven't told this to you--
SHAW: I feel like I finally had to wear the dress so that she could be this really wild beast who jumps on the table and tries to eat me up. For whatever reason, she hasn't been able to do that before. So I just sat there last night realizing, "Oh, that's why I'm doing this, so that Lois can do that." That felt really good.
WEAVER: It's really interesting what that says about the butch-femme dynamic, isn't it? That whole binary: In order for me to play that, there has to be this other. You see a butch persona is a resistant persona because it resists the dominant culture's idea of what it is to be female, just like a drag queen resists the dominant culture's idea of what it is to be male. My position has always been that you could do that as a femme. A resistant femme resists the idea of what it is to be female by being hyper-female. But it's exhausting. It's a relief to take that level of resistance and put it into a male suit. It's not that I feel I have to put on the suit in order to feel powerful. I am able to be powerful in a dress. But I've made this other interesting choice because Tennessee Williams was a feminized male and one way to study femininity is to do it inside that particular male and his relationship to masculinity, and certainly his relationship to his female characters, whom I've always just loved.
SHAW: Yeah, but I don't really think of it as a costume thing that we're going through. I don't know. It's really hard to figure out.
TM: Will you ever be willing to be butch at the same time?
WEAVER: Peggy's at that place now. For me, it's not so easy. It's that difficulty I have with the feminine being invisible then. If I'm going to be a butch, there still has to be a dress on stage, otherwise we've rendered the feminine completely invisible.