Flagship vs. Pirate ship

One of the most rousing toasts given Saturday night at the Southern Theater’s annual fundraiser came from Patrick Scully, of Patrick’s Cabaret.

Scully elicited quite a few laughs when he mentioned the new Cowles Center for Dance, now under construction, and how it has advertised itself as the Twin Cities’ “flagship for dance.”

“That’s funny,” he mused, “I thought we already had a flagship for dance in the Southern.”

(As the Southern’s dance curator Laurie Van Wieren stated in her toast, since 1980 the Southern stage has been home to more dance than any other venue in the Twin Cities.)

“But then I realized,” continued Scully, “that they’re talking about a different kind of ship.”

Scully said if the Cowles Center is indeed a flagship for dance, then the best analogy for the Southern would be a “pirate ship.”

Scully, who got his start performing at the Southern, and who’s queer-themed work has often been considered controversial, gives the theater credit for helping him find his voice.

“If we don’t have a Southern for future misfits like me to find their voices, we will be less. Because it’s those voices we most need in this world.”

And so Scully raised his bottle and toasted “to the pirate ship.”

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