Velina Brown, acclaimed actor, director and member of Actors’ Equity Association, writes an impassioned manifesto on why it’s high time feminism gets its due in theater. Her portrayal of Miss Flora in Shirlene Holmes’s A Lady and a Woman, that recently finished a successful run at Eureka Theatre, has received rave reviews. In her essay, Brown lists out seven succinct reasons why it just won’t do to shy away from the F word.
An excerpt from the essay:
“Friends, feminism, according to the “American Heritage Dictionary,” simply means, “The belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler famously said, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” So, regardless of your gender or the unburnt state of your underwear, if you believe that women are people, you’re a feminist. Feminism is also about another F word: fairness.”
Valerie Weak, actor, educator and proud feminist, spearheaded the Counting Actors Project almost two years ago, and it continues to gain traction. Weak’s crusade in reporting on gender parity in theater in the Bay Area has resulted in more and more theater artists signing up to share gender statistics about plays they are involved in. Weak has an upcoming article in the May/June issue of Theatre Bay Area magazine, where she will share her rich insights about the extensive statistics she’s collated from over 200 plays about women’s participation in Bay Area theater.
Founded in 2012 by playwright Andrea Lepcio, performer Lillian Rodriguez, and dramaturg/scholar Susan Jonas, the reading series is a new initiative, dedicated to “re-loading the canon” by familiarizing potential producers and audiences with a neglected legacy of plays — not by women playwrights — but by great playwrights. On Her Shoulders intends to restore their contribution to theatre history, the canon and the living repertory. On Her Shoulders encourages: teachers to include the plays written by women on their syllabi; students to make use of the materials for monologues and scene study; and professionals to consider the plays written by women for production.
Is love a universal language or, like Esperanto, the stuff only dreams are made of? Julia Cho’s The Language Archive is a lyrical exploration into how language can sometimes be our greatest obstacle in communication. Directed by Chloe Bronzan, the cast includes Danielle Levin*, Stacy Ross* and Elena Wright*. The play starts at 2.00 pm.
Now producing their 2nd season, Symmetry Theatre’s mission includes the idea of ‘balance on the boards’ – choosing plays in which the female characters equal or exceed the male characters, and giving contracts to union actors in equal numbers in regards to gender.
To purchase tickets, go here. Enter the code ‘meetup’ for a $15 ticket ($16.52 with service charge). Symmetry has generously given us an almost 50% discount on their ticket price!
And get Just Deserts!
Make it a WWSF Meetup doubleheader by sticking around for Symmetry Theatre’s 7pm staged reading of Carol Lashof’s Just Deserts, a delicious retelling of the Oresteia from the point of view of the Furies (also at the Berkeley City Club).
Carol wrote in to say: “The play is my attempt to remake the foundation myth of the western justice system. I am very excited about this script and about working with Symmetry and Chloe Bronzan to develop it.”
Image courtesy: Velina Brown’s article as it originally appears on TBA