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 Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER 'School Girls' serendipity for out performer & pageant contestant Ashley Crowe
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2021-08-28

This article shared 595 times since Sat Aug 28, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Fact and fiction are intertwining for out performer Ashley Crowe. It's as if this moment in Crowe's life is being scripted by the late Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello, who is best known for Six Characters in Search of an Author.

"It has been surreal," said Crowe, a Cayman-America who is making her Goodman Theatre debut as the student Nana in School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play.

Playwright Jocelyn Bioh's acclaimed 2017 off-Broadway play focuses on elite school girls in Ghana circa 1986. Many are vying to represent their African nation in the "Miss Global Universe" beauty pageant.

But the Pirandellian twist for Crowe is that she herself is in the midst of preparing to compete in a beauty pageant this September. Crowe is a real-life contestant in the Miss Cayman Islands Universe Pageant, which is part of the larger Miss Universe franchise.

"I was approached to compete in the pageant because I was told that this could really help out your career," Crowe said.

Indeed, showbiz lore is full of stories of stars like Halle Berry, Eva Longoria and Kate Shindle (who is now president of the union Actor's Equity Association) who each competed in pageants early in their careers.

But Crowe also felt that she could have an impact just by competing as an openly queer woman. For instance, Crowe noted that full marriage equality still has not come to the Cayman Islands, which operates as a British Overseas Territory.

"This is an opportunity for me to engage within my community, and to broaden the people who get to know who I am," said Crowe said. "I'm doing this as a contestant as me, and living my best life."

It has been hectic for Crowe to juggle performances of School Girls in Chicago and preparing for a pageant in the Caribbean. But Crowe is grateful for the opportunities—especially since her originally planned run of School Girls in early 2020 had to endue so much uncertainty amid an enforced 17-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The issues of cliques, class, colorism are all expertly brought up by playwright Bioh in School Girls. And performing in School Girls has also been illuminating for Crowe — particularly when so many personal parallels have come to the fore.

"Colorism is one of the biggest themes that hits home for me," Crowe said. "I'm mixed-race. My dad is a white American and my mom is Black Caymanian."

At the age of 10, Crowe moved to the U.S. to be with her father's side of the family.

"I love the white side of my family very much," said Crowe, also acknowledging the assimilation difficulties she had being "in all-white spaces as a Black child growing up in America, and not having somebody to teach you what being Black in America is like."

In summer of 2020, Crowe couldn't afford to continue living in Chicago. So she moved back in with her American family in Fairfield, Connecticut.

While there, Crowe held a one-woman 14-day protest on the Town Hall Green in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In addition to handing out literature, Crowe created large signs with slogans like "It is necessary to become anti-racist" and "Fairfield, CT is the incubator of my oppression."

"It really allowed me to step into my power and own who I am," Crowe said. "Because if I could be myself here in a place that I feel clipped my wings, then I could be myself anywhere."

Crowe also openly acknowledges the privilege that many bestow upon her due to her appearance and lighter skin. And she is grateful that this global legacy of colonialism gets so incisively and comically contextualized by Bioh in School Girls.

"I feel very responsible in being able to educate others as I continue to educate and liberate myself," Crowe said. "This play does that, and I love that I get to do that while we're all laughing and having a great time."

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play continues through Sunday, Aug. 29, at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Call 312-443-3800 or visit goodmantheatre.org .


This article shared 595 times since Sat Aug 28, 2021
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

Next OUTspoken 'Storytelling Night' Oct. 5 2021-09-27
--From a press release - Six Chicagoans will tell compelling stories with a LGBTQ+ perspective when another OUTspoken "Storytelling Night" takes place Tuesday, Oct. 5, starting at 7 p.m., at Sidetrack Bar, 3349 N. Halsted St. All attendees must be masked ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Moulin Rouge!,' gay play 'The Inheritance' win top Tonys 2021-09-27
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the runaway winner at the Tony Awards on Sept. 26, snagging 10 awards. Among its honors were Best Musical, Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Volume 5-SEX! 2021-09-24
- Title: The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Volume 5—SEX! Playwright: David Cerda At: Hell In a Handbag Productions at the Leather Archives and Museum. Tickets: $27-$45. Runs through: HandbagProductions.org It could almost be the premise for ...


Gay News

THEATER Ex-'Jagged Little Pill' performers accuse production of anti-TGNC behavior 2021-09-24
- Two former cast members of Broadway's Jagged Little Pill—including Tony-nominated featured actress Celia Rose Gooding—released statements accusing the production of committing "harm to the trans and non-binary community, both onstage ...


Gay News

TimeLine Theatre Company announces 25th Anniversary Season 2021-09-24
Video below--From a press release - Chicago, IL, September 24, 2021 — TimeLine Theatre Company, acclaimed for presenting plays that explore today's social and political issues through the lens of the past, is thrilled to announce that it will celebrate its 25th ...


Gay News

'Firebird' opens Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ Internat'l Film Fest tonight 2021-09-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Tonight, the 39th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival invites audiences to enjoy an in-person pre-party and theater screening of 'Firebird' for Opening Night at the Music Box Theater. Director P ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf's 'Bug' running Nov. 11-Dec. 12 2021-09-22
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company will welcome audiences back for in-person performances for the first time in 20 months with its acclaimed revival of Bug by ensemble member Tracy Letts, in the Downstairs Theater on Nov. 11-Dec. 12. ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow' available for download 2021-09-21
- It's Pompeii meets Heathers as New American Folk Theatre continues its "season of audio theatre" with a new studio recording of its 2018 hit comedy Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow. The production was written by ...


Gay News

Congo Square Theatre Co. announces new Artistic Director Ericka Ratcliff 2021-09-20
- Congo Square Theatre Company, an African American theater company, announced that longtime company member Ericka Ratcliff will serve as its new artistic director, effective immediately. Ratcliff becomes only the fourth ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf presenting three Tracy Letts virtual works Sept. 29-Oct. 24 2021-09-18
- Leading up to ensemble member Tracy Letts' production Bug returning this November to Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theater, the company is bringing audiences a sampler of the playwright's voice to their homes with a trio of new virtual ...


Gay News

Frank Ferrante to return as 'Groucho' for one night 2021-09-15
- Actor/director Frank Ferrante returns to his internationally heralded stage performance for one night only in "An Evening With Groucho" on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Spiegeltent ZaZou, on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel Chicago ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

First Floor Theater announces 2021-22 season 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 13, 2021) — First Floor Theater is excited to announce their ninth live-production season, featuring one world premiere and one Chicago premiere, along with a second round of The Blueprint Commission, it' new ...


Gay News

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2021-22 season: 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2021) — AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back live audiences this fall, kicking off with a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and ...


 



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.