“Love Alone” Takes on Malpractice, Grief and Gay Rights

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‘Tis the season when theaters across the country announce their 2014-2015 seasons. Two plays continue to dominate the boards, just as they did last year: David Ives’ Venus in Fur and Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. These shows played off-Broadway in 2010 and 2012, respectively, both transferred to Broadway and both […]

A Feminist Light in the Piazza

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The great Southern writer Elizabeth Spencer wrote her most famous story, “The Light in the Piazza, ” while living abroad. She had left the small town in which she grew up, Carollton, Miss., on a Guggenheim Fellowship for Italy. There she also wrote The Voice at the Back Door, about race relations in the South. This […]

Binders Full of Women and People-of-Color Playwrights

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At a recent panel on diversity in Southern California theater, several of the artistic directors on the panel trotted out familiar platitudes about their commitment to diversity, their willingness to challenge their audiences with plays about people that don’t look like them and their desire to build a more diverse audience. Yet these same artistic […]

Playwright Rebecca Gilman on Feminism, Class and Flawed Heroes

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Before I met playwright Rebecca Gilman to discuss her newest work, I prepared myself to discuss some dark topics. A common thread in her widely performed, often gritty and self-described “naturalistic” works is violence against women, such as in her most critically acclaimed play, The Glory of Living (1998), about a female serial killer. We […]

Love In Afghanistan

Love in Afghanistan

Charles Randolph Wright’s powerful Love In Afghanistan examines many of the complicated issues facing young Afghan women. The play, which recently completed a world premiere run at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.,  focuses on Roya, a young Afghan woman who is a translator at a U.S. army base in Kabul. There she meets an […]

Stomp the Runway: The Choreographer Behind Rick Owens’ Astonishing Fashion Show

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When the lights darkened and the chattering of the audience ceased at the recent Rick Owens fashion preview in Paris, many of the seasoned fashionistas and reporters probably expected a frail-looking army of willowy 19-year-olds to come gliding down the runway. Instead, what they got were loud, stomping, thizz-facing steppers who made a different kind […]

Rapture, Blister, Burn

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If you are a feminist, are interested in feminism or are in a relationship with a feminist, you need to see the play Rapture, Blister, Burn, by Gina Gionfriddo, because it is about you. This West Coast premiere, currently running at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, features five characters: Cathy (Amy Brenneman), a 40-something […]

All-Woman Shakespeare: A Dying Tradition?

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Sarah Siddons did it. Charlotte Cushman did it with pants on. Sarah Bernhardt did it in prose. Eva Le Gallienne did it with Uta Hagen. As long as it’s been legal for women to appear on stage, they’ve been playing Hamlet. Next week the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company will become a part of women’s […]

Adam and Eve Rebooted

Adam and Eve

What if Eve got really sick of being blamed for human mortality, pain during childbirth, snakes slithering along on their bellies and just about every other affliction in life? What if Eve figured out that she had been wrongly blamed and vilified? In Genesis, we’re told that G-d tells Eve not to eat from the […]

The Feminist’s Guide to the Hollywood Fringe

It’s summer, which means elite theater professionals all over America are headed to the country for summer stock. If you can’t make it up into the mountains this summer (or if you can’t afford the expensive tickets to these high-society productions), fear not: Our cities are full of all variety of underground artists hawking their […]