Inspired by her older sister’s real-life, 70-pound weight loss, this complex 70-minute, one-woman show was written by playwright Deborah Vogt for her sister, actor Naomi Vogt. Naomi is a powerful, engaging presence on-stage, and Deborah is a talented, funny writer.
Their collaboration is thought-provoking and heartfelt, but it’s also frustrating and difficult, and not quite as critical of fat-shaming as it wants to be. There’s no radical fat acceptance or size acceptance to be found on the page or on the stage.
These are people with complicated relationships to fatness itself, and though the script communicates a desire to interrogate beauty standards and society’s hatred of and erasure of fat bodies, it ultimately reveals that the Vogt sisters, at least the version of themselves presented in Big Sister, are still working on divesting themselves of their own internalized fat hatred.