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Split Lip

Blake Anderson in Split Lip.

Split Lip uses elements of drag performance, clowning, and solo theatre to embody the experiences of Dissociative Identity Disorder, addiction, trauma and more.

Ginava is a drag character from the mind of Blake Anderson, an Australian-based performance artist. Split Lip is Ginava’s first “one-person” show and a bold entry into the form. The piece involves only two phrases of spoken dialogue from the performer, opting instead for a series of verbal lip-syncs from pop culture movies and TV. Using the framing device of a psychological evaluation, the show introduces Ginava’s alters, and throughout the show, hints dropped along the way paint an idea of how the personalities came to be. The plot structure is compelling and satisfying for a show formed almost entirely of pre-existing scripted media. The play ends with one of the alters reading a note left by another alter about their struggle toward recovery. The use of lip-synching to audio portrays the dissociative nature of DID and also the ways media infiltrates our consciences and the ways we cope.

The performance by Blake Anderson is gut-wrenching, compelling and exceptionally invested. Anderson hits every little audio note in the lip-synch, is perfectly timed, and doesn’t miss a word or beat. They bring elements of drag performance to the theatrical space, bringing a new kind of performance to the stage. Anderson can hold an audience’s attention without speaking, often existing rivetingly in silence, dealing with the aftermath left by the introduction of each alter. They are powerfully vulnerable in this piece in so many ways, leaving me, in turn, deeply emotionally invested in the performance. Each alter is different from the last and Anderson is able to shapeshift their physicality to represent each of these characters.

The sound design, also by Blake Anderson, is a shining force in the show. The audio switches abruptly between different clips and is designed so that the clips are in direct dialogue with one another. The audio of the diagnosis throughout the piece is robotic, adding to the feeling of otherness for the character and contrasting the over-the-top nature of much of the media clips. The choices of movies, TV and songs create evocative emotional moments that feel not like a mimicry of their original intellectual property but instead like a performance on its own, informed by the original project.

This piece is unlike anything I have ever seen, which speaks volumes, considering the amount of solo theatre and drag performances I have seen. Ginava/ Blake Anderson is a talented multi-hyphenate artist trailblazing new ways of storytelling and doing so with this important story of the impact trauma can have on a person’s psyche.

“Split Lip”

Written and Performed by Blake Anderson

January 30- February 11, 2024

SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam St. NYC)


Carmen! is a trans-multimedia artist specializing in playwriting, acting and crochet. Originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, they are currently based in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, returning to their Atlantic Oceanic roots. Their play Taking the Plunge has been performed at the Tank and the Chain off-Broadway and in the 2023 Fresh Fruit Festival slated this June. Carmen has also worked in front-of-house and technical positions for prominent theater organizations including New Dramatists, Portland Playhouse, Emursive and Future Proof. Carmen’s mission is to use play to create meaningful representation by and for underrepresented communities. For more information on Carmen! Follow them on socials @carmenacetosociety or check out


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