Comic mediation of life shared in “The Dog & Pony Show” Oct. 19

A blend of autobiography, animal behavior and bald-faced lies, “The Dog & Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony),” is playing at Willamette University Oct.  19.

For one night only, writer Holly Hughes will present a poetic and comic mediation on her life, describing how she quit preaching to the perverted as a professional lesbian to take a real job at a prestigious university. During her monologue, she talks about everything from her partner and their nine dogs to lesbianism and the message of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The show opens at 7:30 p.m. in Rogers Music Center’s Hudson Hall.

Rachel Kinsman Steck, a Willamette theatre professor, first saw Hughes’ show in Chicago in 2010. Based on that experience, she advocated bringing Hughes to Willamette.

“Holly Hughes tells a story that is both personal and relatable to everyone,” Steck says. “We are going to laugh with her. We’re going to cry with her. We’ll understand our lives for the better through her.”

To Steck, Hughes is one of the most profound artists of our time. By the end of the evening, she says audience members will leave the theatre transformed.

“She’s become one of my mentors and my heroes,” Steck says. “She’s a radical, feminist lesbian. She’s also funny, warm and filled with joy. I brought her to Willamette to tell a story.”

Hughes is a writer and performer, whose works include “Dress Suites to Hire,” “Let Them Eat Cake,” “World Without End,” and “Preaching to the Perverted.”

The 2010 Guggenheim Fellow is an associate professor at the University of Michigan, with appointments in art and design, theatre and drama and women’s studies. She is also co-editor with David Roman of “O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance,” which received a Lambda Book Award.

Tickets for “The Dog & Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony)” cost $20 each and are available at the door, by calling the WU Theatre Box Office at 503-370-6221 or by email at They are also available at and at Travel Salem, 181 High St., 503-581-4325.