Nayfack is planning to bring her solo musicals, "One-Woman Show” and "Post-Op," to the Tar Heel State, with performances in Durham, Charlotte and Raleigh, among other cities, as part of her Manifest Pussy tour in June. Along the way, she said she'll take selfies of herself using men's toilets and post them on social media outlets, as she is effectively banned from using women's restrooms under HB 2, which has been widely dubbed the "bathroom bill."
The actress, who is based in New York, told The Huffington Post that she was partly inspired by show business professionals who have nixed performances in North Carolina since Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law on March 23. Oscar-winning composer Stephen Schwartz has said he'll deny the production rights to his musicals, including "Wicked," until HB 2 is rescinded. The rights holders of "West Side Story" and the musical adaptation of "Footloose" followed suit shortly afterward.
"While I admired the sentiment and the solidarity, it also broke my heart, because theater is an art form that can change hearts and minds through a live experience of storytelling," Nayfack said. Having lived in California during its voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, Prop 8, she added, "What I needed then was a cheerleader, someone to say, 'You're not alone in this, keep fighting the good fight!'"
The bill, which also restricts cities from passing non-discrimination laws, made Nayfack "want to go down to North Carolina and piss in all the wrong bathrooms," which is exactly what she now plans to do as part of her tour. She didn't specify exactly which restrooms she plans to use, but expects she'll include a "well-hydrated visit" to the state capitol in Raleigh.
"Other than that, I'm just like any other chick on the road with a band. I'll go where and when I need to go," she quipped. Security, she added, isn't a great concern because she'll spend most of her time at performance venues that are "excited to have me."
Nayfack said she plans to donate proceeds from her performances to local advocacy groups that are working to challenge HB 2, so she's launched a YouCaring fundraiser to help finance her North Carolina tour, which is slated to run from June 9 through 22. At present, the campaign has raised over $3,500.
The actress, who will appear opposite Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner on "Difficult People” this year, said she hopes her performances and selfies will inspire others to "challenge hate and ignorance" in their own communities. As for those fans who attend her North Carolina shows, she'd like them to "leave feeling inspired to live their own truth with renewed confidence and faith."
As to what she'd say to McCrory if given the chance, she noted, "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."
After a pause, she added, "Jesus said it first, but I mean, the guy is just so quotable."
Check out Shakina Nayfack's Manifest Pussy fundraising campaign here.