Posted: 2/08/24

One Man Show ‘Thirst,’ A Dance-Comedy about Being Single, Bows


Tim Rubel Image
Tim Rubel, TAMIU Assistant Professor of Dance  


While Valentine’s Day celebrations may have already faded from memory, a one-man dance-theatre comedy at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU)  offered a humorous exploration of being single.

Tim Rubel, TAMIU assistant professor of Dance, presented and performed Thirst, a “story of single-ness” on Saturday, February 24, 2024 in TAMIU’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre. 

 Admission was free. This show contained adult language and mature themes not appropriate for all audiences.

Thirst was partially funded by a Creative Projects Grant from TAMIU and by Tim Rubel Human Shakes. Music and Sound is by Michael Daddona and Costume Design is by Brooke Jennings.

Rubel wrote and choreographed the show that he performs and said the work is a humorous examination of being single.

“This one-man show creatively and humorously examines the state of being ‘single’ In a global society that tends to put top value on monogamy, marriage, and starting a family, single people are often pitied, pressured to find a life partner, or told in a variety of ways that their lives won’t be complete until they find that ‘special someone.’ ”

He notes that being single is something common to all human experience...at some point.

“One thing that all humans share is that we are all single at some point during our lives. In this story of single-ness, I play a character named OliveUs, who looks back on the many years he spent as a single person before meeting and eventually marrying his husband. The piece combines contemporary dance choreography, drag lip-syncing, storytelling, and original music. It exhibits the freedom and the limitations of a single body. It exudes the quest of a single person trying to find true love with another while forgetting or neglecting their ability to cultivate love within themselves,” Rubel explained.

Rubel said audiences can expect adult content that’s not appropriate for all ages. 

Thirst  takes the audience through a series of romantic and intimate encounters in the pursuit of partnership instead of being fully enjoyed for their temporary ephemeral experience. The work explores the differences between being single and being alone, how ideas about monogamy and partnership are often embroiled in heteronormative world views, and how we can find intimacy, joy, and even companionship as single people,” he said. 

About the Artist

Rubel is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in San Francisco, CA, and Laredo. He received his MFA in Dance from the University of California, Riverside, and his BA in Theatre Performance from Rhode Island College. He is the founder of Tim Rubel Human Shakes, a professional contemporary dance company that serves as the basis for his choreographic work and research.

His choreography has been presented on both U.S. coasts and abroad, and was recently commissioned by InDANCE International in Barcelona, Spain, who will present a new work of his in June of 2024. Rubel’s work has received support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, TAMIU, The Goethe Institute, the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, and the California Arts Council. He has served on the dance faculties of San Francisco State University, Mt. San Jacinto College, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Dance Center, and the Beijing Dance Festival in China.

As a professional dancer, he has worked with Fusionworks Dance Company in Providence, Rhode Island, Windhover Dance Company in Rockport, Massachusetts, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and in San Francisco with the David Herrera Performance Company, Leonora Lee Dance and Epiphany Dance Theatre, to name a few. 

About Tim Rubel Human Shakes

Formed in 2010, Tim Rubel Human Shakes (TRHS) is a small professional contemporary dance company located in San Francisco, CA. They have performed at venues such as Fort Mason Presents, Cal State East Bay’s Queer Performance Festival, Dance Mission Theater, the Pfefferberg Theater in Berlin, Germany, and at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX. 

They pair Contemporary Dance with theatrical spectacle to produce dance works that pose tangible questions about human relationships which appeal to audiences on emotional, physical, and creative levels. Choreographer Tim Rubel’s work is often centered around issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community and other underrepresented communities. Additionally, the work explores playfulness, loss, oppression, and desire. Led by Rubel, TRHS creates a conversation in movement that is technically robust, yet vulnerable and authentic to the dancers performing it. 

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