Philanthrotease is the glamourous intersection of activist burlesque and philanthropy. Several times per year, Isabelle produces under the banner she created and brings together the very best performers on the East coast. In partnership, they raise awreness of issues affecting underserved communities and raise funds for local direct-action charities that are working to combat those issues.
Back in May 2015, coming off their whirlwind debut with Studio Holliday (under the tutelage of the incomparable GiGi Holliday ), Isabelle Epoque and Jane Ostentatious had an idea to combine three things that they (and the District) love: art, stripping and sweet, sweet charity. Thus was born Philanthrotease on a sticky summer day on a RedlLine metro platform. As new performers, they knew they had oh so much to learn from the talented DMV Burlesque community, and delayed the venture after claiming the name Philanthrotease.
In the meantime, the two used that time to study under admired performers and producers honing their own skills as performers. They were acutely aware of not getting too big for their sequined-britches. But opportunity presented itself and when Bella La Blanc offered to help Isabelle produce the David Bowie Tribute show as a fundraiser for the Wanda Alston Foundation; it was time to bring Philanthrotease out of the vault!
The glorious madness continued in the Summer of 2016 at the Black Cat for DIVAS: Survivors of Pop, benefiting DC Safe an organization dedicated to ensuring the safety and self-determination of domestic violence survivors in Washington, DC through emergency services, court advocacy and system reform.
In early of 2017 Isabelle brought you a tribute to Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now, benefiting HIPS an organization dedicated to reducing harm to sex workers and drug users. In the Spring, Philanthrotease supported The CARA Pro Bono Project with a Tribute to George Michael for DC’s PRIDE Weekend. In October, the Philanthrotease family raised funds for Unidos Por Puerto Rico, donating 100% of Net ticket sales.
The first Philanthrotease event of 2018 benefited RAINN in a tribute to Tori Amos and Virtuoso Babes of the 90s in, Precious Things!
In the Fall of 2018, enraged by the continuing ineptitude and overt cruelty of the justice and political systems, DC burlesque femmes joined together to create a cathartic evening of rage for themselves and a sold-out audience in Lysistrata at the Black Cat DC. The event raised over $1500 for the Collective Action for Safe Spaces.
An Interview With Isabelle Époque and Bella La Blanc on ‘Bowie and Burlesque’