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Wig Wag

Emily Bate


Categories: Theater, Music, Immersive/Interactive Experience

Dates: September 13, 2023 - September 24, 2023

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: FringeArts


Welcome to Wig Wag: an assemblage of humans, a community choir gone off the rails, a creature with many smaller creatures inside. You are invited to soften the sharp borders around your separate self. Or not! Emily Bate — composer, community songleader and choral conductor — blends deeply accessible, participatory music for the audience, with stunning vocal acrobatics performed by a 4 person cast. Take a singing tour through the thick tangle of our interdependence.

Wig Wag is inspired by the work of scientists, philosophers and artists like Anna Tsing, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Donna Haraway, Gary Snyder, Tyson Yunkaporta and Andreas Weber, who all insist there is no split between humans and the rest of nature, and no discrete boundary around the self. Each “self” is actually a network of relationships.

Creator Emily Bate uses communal singing to make that idea come alive in Wig Wag. She is joined onstage by singer-creator-performers Sally Louise Polk, Jackie Soro and Samantha Rise, performing harmonically dense vocal music that zooms between unison and cacophony; collaboration and alienation. 

It’s a show for people who love to sing, people who “can’t sing” and those for whom both apply. Wig Wag is about collectively experiencing the impact we have on each other, and singing our way through it. (Good and bad attitudes welcome.)

Photo (c) Rich Wexler

About the Artist

Emily Bate is a singer, composer and performer. She works fluidly across disciplines including music performance, theater and choral music.

Emily founded and conducts a 65-member queer community chorus called Trust Your Moves, an experiment in collective singing designed around liberation and co-creation.

Recent projects include: Wig Wag, a music-theater piece performed by a cast of 4 and the entire audience; the “CSA,” a subscription art service that sends packages of interactive art to peoples’ home in the mail; the score for the film Queer Genius by Catherine Pancake; several shows with frequent collaborator Erin Markey, including the anarcho-musical A Ride on the Irish Cream, featuring “accessible, often punchy pop-rock” (New York Times), and “soaring musical numbers” (Artforum) that were “startlingly gorgeous, and packed with heavenly harmonies” (New York Post); and a composing collaboration with installation artist Patrick Costello. Emily has worked with artists like Ragnar Kjartansson, MJ Kaufman, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Pig Iron, and Mal Cherifi, and her work has been performed at venues across the US and UK.

Emily is a 2022 Art Works Fellow and a 2021 Pew Fellow. Her work has also been supported by the Independence Foundation, The Leeway Foundation, the MAP Fund, and more.


  • Emily BateWriter
  • Composer
  • Performer
  • Rebecca WrightDirector
  • Sally Louise PolkCreator-Performer
  • Samantha RiseCreator-Performer
  • Jackie SoroCreator-Performer
  • Chloe KincaideStage & Production Manager
  • Patrick CostelloSet
  • Costume & Props Designer
  • Kate McGeeLighting Designer
  • Elizabeth BradenMusic Director
  • Emily SchreinerProducer
  • Dorie ByrneScore Supervisor

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