Brassy and friendly, Meghann Williams founded Chlamydia dell’Arte, a sex education burlesque, with Gigi Naglak in 2008. We caught up with the performer, director, and South Philly resident about her work, her favorite neighborhood spots, and what it’s like to watch The Wire with a roomful of Philly performers.
“If we rehearse choreography with body rolls, she looks like a graceful goddess and I look like I’m suffering back spasms.”
What is a Chlamydia dell’Arte show like?
“We decided to do a 1920s-style burlesque, which is more in line with vaudeville sensibilities (skits and songs and fan dancing). Every single number in our show addresses some part of sex-ed.”
Any current projects?
“We JUST finished writing our fourth show, which has a target audience of college students. We are hoping to launch a tour of Philadelphia-area universities very soon.”
What was the most difficult burlesque move to master?
“Body rolls. Gigi is amazing at body rolls and I am absolutely hopeless. If we rehearse choreography with body rolls, she looks like a graceful goddess and I look like I’m suffering back spasms.”
What do you like about being part of the Philly performing art community?
“I love the fact that we actually ARE a community. We celebrate and mourn together, we know each other, we are excited when someone does something on a national scale. Seriously, watch The Wire with Philly theatre people and all you will experience is a room full of people…shouting out the names of all the people they know and then telling you which shows they’ve done with each of them.”
Favorite spot to relax on a day off?
“I think if I had a perfect day off, I wouldn’t leave South Philly. Brunch at Cantina, maybe go to the movies or just play video games at home, and then dinner and drinks at my beloved Watkins Drinkery. It is SUCH a neighborhood place that when my boyfriend and I went there on our anniversary the same people who were there on our first date came in.”
Which shows will you always make a point to see?