Baubo, said Kate Mueth, the artistic director of The Neo-Political Cowgirls, “is my favorite goddess. And it’s time for her.”
Baubo opened on Tuesday, August 14, in Montauk County Park, and runs through Saturday, August 18. NPC is known locally for its wild and unexpected style of theater, and this performance is no different. It will feature aerialists, dance, music, and words to surprise audiences who come to enjoy the production, outdoors under the big Montauk sky.
Those of us who consider ourselves myth-nerds can be mystified by the name Baubo. “She’s been so subverted,” Mueth explained. “She’s the person who laughs too loud and doesn’t care, she’s sexual energy and laughter and joy, the deepest most authentic part of yourself.”
Mueth related the familiar story of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest and the cycle of life and death, and her daughter, Persephone, who was kidnapped by Hades, the lord of the underworld. “And while Demeter spent the time searching for her daughter, the world became dry and barren. It died. And when Demeter couldn’t take one more step, she fell at the mouth of a well. And Baubo came up out of the well and whispered something into Demeter’s ear.”
Was it inspiration, affirmation, well wishes (so to speak)? “No,” Mueth said with a smile. “It was the raunchiest, funniest, dirtiest joke ever told. And it made Demeter laugh. It gave her the strength to stand up and take that one more step, to continue the search.”
In spite of Baubo’s reputation for blue material, Mueth says the show is very youth-friendly, and welcomes all. “There is going to be so much to see,” Mueth acknowledged. “I’ve never been interested in presenting things just as they are. I’m interested in breaking down walls and pushing boundaries — where are we going? How far will we have progressed by tomorrow? Where do we need to be and what’s the next thing we need to be working toward? Let’s get started on it now.”
Tickets for Baubo start at $15 and can be found, along with more information, at the www.npcowgirls.org website.