From the buckle of the Bible Belt, a gay-themed vaudeville circus troupe prances into Maine this weekend to present four shows and add a dash of fairy dust to the state.

Hailing from the gay community of IDA (which stands for Idyll Dandy Acres) in Tennessee, the Eggplant Faerie Players will present the theatrical performance “Welcome to Homo Hollow: 17 Years of Queer Country Living in 17 Outfits.”

Picture a mash-up between a “Hee Haw” episode and a gay pride festival, and you’ll get an idea of what this show is all about.

“We do satire, juggling, circus, drag and outfits galore,” said performer TomFoolery, who stars in the production with MaxZine and Maya Jensen. “We’ve lived at IDA for 17 years, and we talk about what that’s like. We give people a perspective about what we’re doing out there.”

One thing they’re doing out there is wielding chain saws while dressed in drag.

“Living in the woods, we needed to learn how to cut wood,” TomFoolery said. “Most of us are not terribly butch and athletic. Since we thought chain sawing is macho, we thought we could femme it up.”

The performers have taken this skill and turned it into a juggling act for the show. “We won’t actually have chain saws on stage, I’m sorry to say,” TomFoolery said.

The chain saws had to be jettisoned from the troupe’s vehicle to make room for all the wigs and dresses. However, TomFoolery said, “if anyone wants to bring a chain saw, we’ll use it in the show.”

Those same work frocks, albeit with a little more wear and tear, will show up in the “Dairy Queen in Tattered Dresses” piece.

“A lot of time, our drag is nice and fine,” TomFoolery said, “but sometimes, living in the country, our drag is a little tattered and dragged through the dirt. (The piece) is about being out in drag in a town where people don’t expect it.”

The satire piece “Person Living with AIDS” touches on the emotionally charged issue of people living with the disease in the rural South.

“The satire for us comes from trying to deal with our feelings,” TomFoolery said. “We try and find the humor in it. We infuse it with our personal sense of loss, but we can have satire going on and still be respectful. We’re not actually making fun of AIDS, but we are poking fun at the attitudes people have and the fear people have.”

With musical instruments, including a cello, a mandolin and guitars, TomFoolery described the show’s soundtrack as “Appalachia music meets classical and jazz.”

IDA is a 200-acre property in the hollows of middle Tennessee populated by about a dozen residents, numerous visitors, assorted cabins and an organic farm. Surrounding the property are a number of like-minded folks. Each June, IDA hosts the Idapalooza Fruit Jam musical festival.

The “Welcome to Homo Hollow” show is a way to bring a bit of the community to other parts of the country and connect with other radicals and alternative communities along the way.

“A part of what we like to do is let people know that while Tennessee is not known as a hotbed of alternative ideas, there is some of that going on down here,” TomFoolery said.

And there will be a lot of it going on this weekend in Maine.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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