Trains, Pullman Porters and a Woman’s Blues

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What do you get when you combine passionate individuals determined to survive with multi-generational family drama and two key moments in African American history? A pretty great new play, that’s what. Opening November 23 at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, Pullman Porter Blues, by Cheryl L. West (Jar the Floor, Before it Hits Home), takes […]

Lynn Nottage Brings 80 Years of Women, Race and Hollywood to the Stage

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Looking for an evening of entertainment that’s humorous, thought provoking and possibly paradigm changing? The West Coast premiere of African American Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage‘s new play By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is your ticket. But it’s not your typical evening of theater. Directed by Jo Bonney and featuring Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show, […]

B-Girls Take Control

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Ana “Rokafella” Garcia-Dionisio remembers glass on the floor and piss in the staircases of the 1970s Harlem and Bronx apartments where she grew up. “You had to be tough to survive,” she says. It was at that moment in the Bronx when we witnessed the birth of hip-hop. From the sparks of hardship, struggle and […]

Did Someone Say Vagina?

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As a theater director, the first person I thought of when I heard the news from Michigan was Eve Ensler. I’ve directed The Vagina Monologues twice and, despite unsettling doubts that the play does not actually work as the V-Day events intend (to end violence), I loved doing it both times. In theater speak, The Vagina […]

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sandra Bernhard

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I have never really understood Sandra Bernhard. It’s not that I haven’t tried. After admiring her fantastic turn as ballsy sexual harassment lawyer Caroline Poop on Ally McBeal, my absolutely favorite show at the time (1997) about my absolutely favorite “dead feminist,” I told a friend, “I’ve never really gotten the Sandra Bernhard thing.” “Have […]

Women: Take What Is Ours

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Forced feedings of raw eggs. Beatings by prison guards. A woman “doubled over like a sack of flour.” These are not the images that immediately come to mind when we picture U.S. women’s fight for the vote. The facts have been sugarcoated by history, which likes to remember women’s suffrage as a proud moment for […]

A Look Inside the Mind of a Suffragist

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It’s the year 1917. Susan B. Anthony has been dead for 11 years, Elizabeth Cady Stanton for 15. The National American Woman Suffrage Association, currently led by Carrie Chapman Catt, has been agitating since 1890. But women in America still do not have the right to vote. Fed up, a group of militant suffragists called […]

Helen Hunt Runs the Show in “Our Town”

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The moment she enters, walking quickly, in her masculine work boots and jeans, you know that she is a woman in charge. That’s what a real stage manager is, after all, but in most productions of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-Prize winning classic, Our Town, the Stage Manager is an old white man, replete with gray hair, […]

New Fire From Cherríe Moraga

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It was said that during times of chaos, this female force came down to earth to put things right again. — Roadwoman, New Fire Before there was intersectionality, there was Cherríe Moraga, playwright and co-editor of the feminist classic This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. She recently told the Ms. […]

Project Girl Power

Cast at Feminist Majority Foundation

UPDATE 2013: Project Girl Performance Collective is now Girl Be Heard. A couple of weeks ago, the staff of Ms. magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation were treated to a live, in-office performance by five members of New York’s Project Girl Performance Collective. They had us at “Girl Power.” That was the title of their opening song, which […]