Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The Condition of Femme
by Regina Victor
2018-03-14

This article shared 848 times since Wed Mar 14, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Lauren Marie Powell

At: Circle Theatre at Buena Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets: CircleTheatreChicaog.org; $28. Runs through: April 1

The Condition of Femme is compiled out of 100 interviews, much like Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, but focused on the femme experience—the experience of a person of any gender who identifies with feminine energy.

Penned by Lauren Marie Powell and directed by Amanda Jane Long, Circle Theatre's production uses a cohesive narrative to present the stories of many different femmes as it follows Reagan ( playwright Powell ) and her partner Cheryl ( Amy Powell ). Throughout, the two deal with the most difficult parts of being a femme: sexual assault. Reagan works for a rape-crisis hotline and Cheryl is proceeding with a trial against a sexual predator.

Reagan consistently internalizes her work as the hotline's callers recount their stories, vile subway encounters, and men of God who proved themselves to be anything but among them. Each person in the cast gives a fantastic performance, which is notable since the script can feel preachy. The earnest attitude the cast deploys makes the factual language feel natural most of the time.

Long's direction flows well, but it may have occasionally been stoppered by its desire to flow. Often things are happening onstage—projections, costume changes, rearranging the space and so on—while people are speaking. It distracts from the emotional text.

Cody Jolly's projection design is a strength, showing notable statistics: For example, approximately 30,000 rapes result in pregnancies each year. Rapists have parental rights in 31 states.

I was thrilled the production centered a spectrum of femme experience, and included femmes of color and transgender femmes. However, it struck me that though there are only two visible performers of color out of 12, much of the media in the projections design is attributed to Black and brown bodies. "Whistle While You Twerk," by the Ying Yang Twins, accompanies a montage of white women being spanked.

There is a long video of Black twerking butts for which the primary image and audio is Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda"—a song that is culturally significant for its lack of male presence and ownership of the beauty of Black and brown bodies. It feels like appropriation to hear the song as the background for a primarily white cast discussing a lack of power and consent.

The Condition Femme doesn't feel like it's for survivors; instead of empowering femmes, it is a bid for us to be seen as human. It reminds the audience that femmes are "physically weaker" ( that's verbatim from the script ) and emphasizing that stories like these occur daily. It is an important effort and an important collection of stories. But I am ready for femmes to take their power and use it—not plea for protection from a sick society.


This article shared 848 times since Wed Mar 14, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Cast announced for May 18 virtual reading of JEFFREY 2021-05-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO — PrideArts today announced the full cast for its upcoming reading of Paul Rudnick's comedy JEFFREY. David Belew, founder and former artistic director of Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, will direct a cast that will include ...


Gay News

Heather Headley to headline Goodman Theatre's May 22 virtual gala 2021-05-03
- Goodman Theatre announced that Tony-winning Broadway actor and Grammy Award-winning singer Heather Headley will headline the company's "Together Center Stage" virtual 2021 gala fundraiser. "Together Center Stage" is slated to stream Saturday, May 22, ...


Gay News

THEATER Artistic Director Anna Shapiro leaving Steppenwolf post 2021-05-03
- Anna D. Shapiro—the artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 2015—will leave her post when her contract expires in August. Over the last several months, Shapiro has been working ...


Gay News

VIRTUAL THEATER Oak Park Festival Theatre to present 'The Venetians' 2021-04-28
- Oak Park Festival Theatre, in partnership with Kane Repertory Theatre, is presenting a virtual production of The Venetians, a new play by Matt Barbot that brings together various characters from several of Shakespeare's best-loved plays to ...


Gay News

THEATER 'A Portrait of My Mother' to start streaming May 9 2021-04-08
- Jarrott Productions will present the world premiere of A Portrait of My Mother, written and performed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia and directed by David R. Jarrott. The autobiographical tribute to Garcia's mother, Maria, begins streaming on ...


Gay News

Mercury Theater to reopen; new artistic director named 2021-04-07
- Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., has announced its reopening—along with new leadership. New Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter returns to the theater where he collaborated on the hit productions of Little Shop of Horrors ...


Gay News

Story of Chicagoan and Broadway influencer Sister Rosetta Tharpe on to Broadway 2021-04-06
--From a press release - NEW YORK (April 4, 2021) — Prolific writer and Chicago native Cheryl L. West (FANNIE: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer; Jar the Floor), will be joined on the creative team of SHOUT SISTER ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Security,' with Eric Roberts, running April 10-May 2 2021-04-05
- Kane Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Daniil Krimer and Managing Director Avery Bowne announced the world-premiere online production of Hammaad Chaudry's Security, as part of the company's new Multiplatform Commission. Security ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Summer of Daisy Fay' out April 5 2021-03-31
- New American Folk Theatre (NAFT) is presenting The Summer of Daisy Fay—the inaugural production of NAFT's "season of audio theater" that features new recordings of three of the company's past productions. The one-woman show starring N ...


Gay News

Submissions from Black musical-theater writers sought for album 2021-03-31
- Broadway Records and Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) announced today the call for submissions for Black Writers Amplified, a new album consisting entirely of new works by Black musical-theater writers to be released in 2021. Black Writers ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens names artists for Black Monologues, part of Black Beauty Fest 2021-03-25
--From a Victory Gardens Theater press release - Chicago, IL— Victory Gardens Theater, in partnership with The Black Women's Expo and Black Owned Chicago, presents the 5th Edition of the Black Beauty Festival (BBF), April 10-11, 2021. Offered virtually for the first time, Black ...


Gay News

Next virtual OUTspoken on April 6 2021-03-20
- The next OUTspoken storytelling event will take place Tuesday, April 6, starting at 7 p.m., on Zoom. Speakers will include a writer/storyteller, a teacher, a professional photographer and a caregiver. Joy Wright is a nominated Best-of-the-Net ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf to present reading of queer Muslim play on March 28 2021-03-20
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company's new play-development initiative, SCOUT, will present A Virtual Reading of Mosque4Mosque, by Omer Abbas Salem, on Sunday, March 28, at 2 p.m. The free reading follows a 30-hour workshop process directed by Arti ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'The World to Come' film, Dan Reynolds, Broadway, Green Lantern 2021-03-07
- The lesbian-themed film The World to Come is available to buy or rent, a press release noted. In this 19th-century romance (from Bleeker Street) that's set in the Northeast, Abigail (played by Katherine Waterston), a farmer's ...


Gay News

THEATER Global, Grindr-based 'Borders' to run Feb. 25-27 2021-02-23
- Dirty Laundry Theatre's virtual experience Borders, directed by Chicago resident Michael R. Piazza, will feature three live shows on Feb. 25-27. Written by Nimrod Danishman and directed by Piazza, Borders tells the story of two gay ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.