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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Cleveland Playwright Brings Visibility to Fat-Positivity with 'Saturated Fat,' a One-Night-Only Performance at The Nash

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2018 at 4:55 PM

click to enlarge "Saturated Fat" in Cleveland Public Theatre's 2017 Entry Point New Play Development Program Pictured (L to R): Sam Dee, Abigail Anika Svigelj, and Nici Romo. - COURTESY OF SATURATED FAT
  • Courtesy of Saturated Fat
  • "Saturated Fat" in Cleveland Public Theatre's 2017 Entry Point New Play Development Program Pictured (L to R): Sam Dee, Abigail Anika Svigelj, and Nici Romo.

Originally developed as a piece of the Cleveland Public Theatre’s 2017 Entry Point series, local playwright Meredith L. King & the Saturated Fat ensemble bring Saturated Fat to the Nash this Saturday.

A theatrical spectacle that explores fatness, connection and visibility in the modern world, Saturated Fat is inspired from art, pop-culture and real-life experiences as shared by the cast and through the #FatSideStories tag on Twitter. Here King strives to deliver a show that examines the cultural stereotypes and responses from others about being overweight.

Representation is important in our entertainment mediums, and it's difficult to see representation of fat individuals unless their fatness is their sole defining quality. Shows like Mike and Molly with Melissa McCarthy are centered around the "oh-so-hilarious" idea that two fat people could find love and happiness, and Drop Dead Diva focuses on someone realizing that fat people are human beings, and deserve to be seen as such.

King, a Stanford and Yale graduate, is a self-identified fat person, and wants her play to help reclaim fatness while exploring both the unique and universal experiences of those existing in a theorized, politicized and often deconstructed body.

The experiences and stories explored in Saturated Fat will likely resonate with most Clevelanders. Nearly 34 percent of Ohioans are considered medically obese, and minority communities — often located in poorer areas without access to fresh fruit and vegetables, known as food deserts— are especially hit hard. Nationwide obesity rates landing at 47 percent for Latinos, and 46.8 percent for black people, meanwhile the national rate for white people is nearly 10 percent lower.

This isn't a show trying to make audiences feel sorry for the plight of fat folx, but rather an attempt to rethink fatness and the stigmas attached to it through a thoughtful and humorous integration of movement, music, story and theatricality.

Saturated Fat's one-night-only performance runs Sat., Oct. 6 at The Nash, located at 3563 E. 80th St. The show begins at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. For more information and ticket purchases, click here.

The play is funded in part by a grant from NOLOSE, a nonprofit organization, and support from the body positive organization, Generation+.

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