9/12: This Week in Feminist Theater


Playwright’s own reconsidered life led to ‘Hanna(h)’

Playwright Deirdre Girard’s “Reconsidering Hanna(h)” is getting its first professional production by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. The play is a rich re-imagination of the legend of Hannah Dustin, the colonial Massachusetts Puritan mother of nine who was taken captive by the Abenaki Native Americans during King William’s war. The play is set in both the 17th century and the 21st, and the present day narrative is through the perspective of a “Boston journalist named Hanna who is trying to regain her emotional equilibrium after traumatic events in her own life.”

Girard, whose personal trajectory was a “reconsideration” of her own life, says “It’s sort of a trend with women, especially women with kids, that in the second part of their lives they explore their creative needs and desires and talents.”

Don Aucoin of The Boston Globe notes that in particular, “[Girard] is intent on doing her part to redress what she sees as a problem in theater: a paucity of meaty roles for actresses, particularly those at midlife, the stage when Girard made her own career transition.” The play she plans to finish next, “Widow’s Walk,’’ features four middle-age female characters.

Celeste Oliva plays both Hannah and Hanna. Other women involved in the production are Caroline Lawton as Hanna’s estranged friend and colleague, and Kippy Goldfarb as Mary Neff. The production will be directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary.

Green Light to Present One-Acts by Women in GLO 2014, 11/6-9

Green Light Productions recently relocated to Los Angeles after a 12-year run in New York and Philadelphia. Green Light is dedicated to producing and developing new plays by women. For Green Light’s first west coast production — GLO (Green Light One-Acts), the company accepted submissions from only Los Angeles-based women playwrights.

The four plays selected that were “not only incredibly well-written but also funny, powerful, sharp and entertaining” are:

  • Femme Noir by Allie Costa
  • Sisters Lunching by the Seaside by Julianne Homokay
  • Buying a House by Jennie Webb
  • Juiced by Alex Dilks Pandola

 Shows to See

Offerings: A Feminist Festival of Transformative Arts

Siren Project in collaboration with 50+ creative individuals and community organizations presents Offerings this Fall. The intention of this feminist-powered participatory festivity is to allow all festival attendees to celebrate, experience and cultivate creativity as a vehicle for self & collective transformation.

Siren Project was founded in September 2010. This year, through Offerings, “Siren attends to the importance of Creativity in Community for enhancing our everyday life, be it for healing, growth, or empowerment, individually and collectively.”

September 14th, Sunday | 9 am – 10 pm
Oakland Peace Center, 111 Fairmount Ave Oakland, CA 94611

The Taming of the Shrew

Directed by Rebecca J. Ennals

Welcome to Renaissance-era Padua, Italy, where two very unconventional people meet, fight, and finally fall in love – but not before a feast of wit and outrageous physical comedy. The Taming of the Shrew features plenty of Shakespearean twists, hilarious clowns and ridiculous disguises, along with a subversive and challenging love story. Who is the bigger Shrew? You decide!

A FREE professional theater production in a beautiful park setting! At the Presidio Parade Ground Lawn, this weekend (9/13-9/14).

This is the Girl: Funsch Dance Experience

This full-length work features performances by Christy Funsch, Nol Simonse and company members Nick Brently, Chad Dawson, Chin Chin Hsu, Peiling Kao and Courtney Moreno. Accompaniment is by Dance Brigade’s Grrrl Brigade on Taiko drums and Dory Ellis on electric guitar, with vocals by members of the San Francisco Community Music Center’s Children’s Chorus.

9/13-9/14, at the Dance Mission Theater

The Haze

A new solo play by Heather Marlowe
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory

An enthralling, sharp-witted, and autobiographical story about the aftermath of being drugged and raped while attending San Francisco’s annual Bay to Breakers event, Marlowe’s piece has already generated local and national attention for the issues it raises about how rape cases are handled even in enlightened cities like San Francisco. The play comes at a moment when Congress is expected to approve funding to examine untested DNA evidence from rape kits held by state and local police departments across the country.

Runs through 9/27

War Circus (after Euripides’ The Trojan Women)

The Imaginists investigate Euripides’ The Trojan Women  to re-imagine a new world. What if you had to perform your tragedy over and over for thousands of years so that history would not be repeated? What if it was repeated anyway? Would you start to resent having to perform your role? From out of the past come the archetypal women of Troy: Helen, the beauty, Cassandra, the truth-teller, Hecuba, the matriarch, Andromache, the rock, Polyxena, the future, and the Women of the Chorus, the time-travelers.

10 minutes before showtime available seats may be purchased at a Pay What You Can price.

Runs through 9/28

Rapture, Blister, Burn

Directed by Desdemona Chiang
Lead: Marilee Talkington

Can any woman really have it all? After grad school, Gwen built a family, Catherine a career. Twenty years later, each thinks the other chose a better life! Feminism takes a sharp look at itself in this hilarious new comedy from Gina Gionfriddo, author of Becky Shaw.

Runs through 9/28.

The New Electric Ballroom

Written by Enda Walsh
Directed by Barbara Damashek

Sisters Breda, Clara, and Ada are trapped within their memories of the New Electric Ballroom. It was the time of their lives… or was it? Playwright Enda Walsh, author of the Tony-Award winning musical Once, creates a brash, darkly humorous, and disturbing tale of sisters determined to live in the past – until the youngest upsets the balance of their delicate world.

Runs Wed through Sun, through 10/5

Image: Playwright Deirdre Girard courtesy The Boston Globe

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