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COMEDY On her own terms, Melissa DuPrey's work in the age of reckoning
by Ada Cheng

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Melissa DuPrey—whose work has always been about centering disfranchised communities and who recently emceed 2018 Chicago Women's March—will be bringing her solo performance, "SEXomedy 2.0: The Second Coming" to Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., on Nov. 29-30.

For DuPrey, SEXomedy 2.0—a response to current debates on female sexuality, body positivity and identity politics—is a long journey marked with the need for healing, coming to terms of oneself, and the celebration of female sexuality and sensuality since returning to Chicago from Houston in 2010 after a traumatic event.

"SEXomedy 2.0" reflects almost a decade of growth as a human being, an activist and a performing artist. Extending some of the themes she explored in the original "SEXomedy" in 2013, DuPrey delves deeper into more pertinent issues in response to the particular demands of our time. As she told Windy City Times, "'Sexemedy 2.0: The Second Coming' is a hybrid of different things. It takes the best of the original SEXomedy, a hypersexual, hyper-liberatory body positive, sex-positive anthem to female liberation. 'SEXemedy 2.0' is the version 2018 wants to see and it ventures into queerness, kinks, hook-up culture dominated by male power, [sex] inclusive of trans people, [a] critique of porn shaped by heteronormativity, and centering woman at the forefront of the pleasure as opposed to a body that the society pushes us to and defined by porn."

In this new version of her solo performance, DuPrey aims to deconstruct the myths about female sexuality and sensuality. It ventures into "intimacy, sexuality, sensuality, and navigating the dating world as we have it now dominated by the apps. It is out of the lens of an intersectional women of color perspective," DuPrey said.

DuPrey said she intends this performance to be in direct conversation with various movements of our time: "I am trying to elevate the idea of dismantling the patriarchy and male privileges. What we are seeing is men in power, specifically cis white men in power and the kind of silencing that comes along when people are abused. 'SEXomedy 2.0' has always been about empowering women, for women to say I am in control of my sexuality, I am in control of my circumstances, and I have the power to define consent in relationships."

How does DuPrey deal with queer topics differently in this version? She said, "I have always been politically pro-queer. If you look at my art, my track records, I have always been, first and foremost, most welcome the queer community. In this version, I will explore queerness differently, with more embeddedness as opposed to proximity. At the end of the day, my art is about intersectionality and this is the layer that I haven't been able to bring in yet. This performance is a reflection of my growth these past five years on this aspect."

For tickets: .

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