Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

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.


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

THEATER REVIEW We're Gonna Die 2020-09-19 - Playwright: Young Jean Lee At: Theatre Y, streaming online at Theatre-Y.com . Ticketsfree. Runs through: Oct. 4 "To be, or ...


Gay News

'Under the Stars with Handbag' drive-in fest through Sept. 19 2020-09-16 - Hell in a Handbag Productions is hosting "Under the Stars with Handbag: A Drive-In Festival," which is running Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Pride and Prejudice: A Virtual Play 2020-09-16 - Playwright: Adapted by Christina Calvit from the novel by Jane Austen At: Streaming online at LifelineTheatre.com . Tickets: Free with donation. Runs ...


Gay News

'Iconic: A Broadway Hits Cabaret' on Sept. 25, 27 2020-09-12 - Oil Lamp Theater has announced the first event in its Onstage and Outdoors: A Live Performance Series—" Iconic: A Broadway Hits Cabaret." The ...


Gay News

Jeff Awards to be online this fall 2020-09-09 - The 52nd annual Jeff Awards, recognizing theater excellence among Equity theater productions, will be presented this fall as an online program. In preparation ...


Gay News

Closet Play virtual benefit concert leads PrideArts virtual season 2020-09-02 - CHICAGO - PrideArts Artistic Director Donterrio Johnson today announced a four - show virtual fall season called REIGNITE! that will look to the ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW The Pursuit of Happiness: A BoHo Exploration of Freedom 2020-09-02 - Playwright: Scripted by the artists and curated by Sana Selemon At: Streaming online at BoHoTheatre.com Tickets: free with donation . Runs through: Open ...


Gay News

American Blues marking 35 years on Sept. 4 with 'Blue Bash' 2020-08-28 - American Blues Theater, under the continued leadership of Artistic Director Gwendolyn Whiteside, announced the 2021 Blue Bash, a fundraiser celebrating 35 Years Strong. ...


Gay News

Congo Square Theatre Company announces 2020-2021 Season including digital 2020-08-25 - CHICAGO ( August 25, 2020 )—Congo Square Theatre Company ( Congo Square ), one of the nation's premier African American theatres, is proud ...


Gay News

'Under the Stars with Handbag' drive-in festival thru Sept. 19 2020-08-22 - Hell in a Handbag Productions is hosting "Under the Stars with Handbag: A Drive-In Festival," which is running Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

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.