(Boston, MA) It feels like I’m the only person who’s never heard of Hannah Duston. My friends had plenty to say when I mentioned seeing this show. In 1697, she was captured by Canadian Abenaki Native Americans and transported to what is now Pennacook, NH. After freeing herself with the aid of two other captives, Hannah killed 11 natives and sought safety away from the Abenaki. In a surprising twist to the story, Hannah has all but left the camp where she was held hostage but then returns to scalp the Abenaki for a bounty. At the time, she was lauded for her success and the first statue to commemorate a woman in the US ever was placed in Boscawen, NH. The second statue is currently located in Haverhill, MA (There’s confusion as to which is which.). Duston is considered a folk hero by some (typically White). She is considered a violent, racist Puritan by many others. Continue reading →
Presented by OperaHub
1828 music by Heinrich Marschner
1828 German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück
1828 libretto based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter
2014 arrangement by Moshe Shulman
2014 libretto by John J King
Music direction by Lina Marcel Gonzalez
Stage direction by Christie Lee Gibson
(Boston) Der Vampyr is a decadently feminist adaptation of Marschner’s original. This new arrangement presented by OperaHub tackles the difficult truths of male entitlement, victim blaming and rape culture that all women face on a daily basis. If you, the reader, do not believe in gender equality, this opera is not for you. If you believe that rape culture is not a pervasive truth all women face, then this opera is not for you. It would be best if you pulled your fedora over your eyes and stopped reading this review now. Continue reading →
Trigger warnings for partial nudity, emotional & physical violence, strong language, and Cup Noodles soup.
(Boston) In The Wholehearted,Dee Crosby (played by the Tilda Swinton-esque Suli Holum) uses antiquated media technology to send a video love letter to her Ex, Carmen. Crosby was a boxing champ in the early 2000’s with a stellar career, a pristine image and what appeared to be a perfect marriage to her coach, Charlie. Unfortunately, Charlie didn’t know how to leave the match in the ring. In her video love letter, Dee relives her most memorable career events deepest turmoils. Creators Holum and Stein show us that assault victims come in all shapes, sizes and definitions of femininity. Continue reading →
Theatre@First offers an earnest take on Caryl Churchill’s meditation on womanhood in the 1980s. The production is best in the lighter moments, when the realities of the character’s lives seem far less crushing.
Top Girls itself is not traditional, but is and was a groundbreaking piece which provides incisive snapshots of women beyond as well as within classical archetypes. A show which only represents female voices is not necessarily feminist by default, but feminism as it relates to the time as well as the past pops up regularly. Central themes such as success and sacrifice are embodied by Marlene, played effectively as a witty and ruthless vamp by Kathy-Ann Hart, who has achieved autonomy by choosing the advancement of her career over other areas of her life. Continue reading →
A bunch of middle-aged folks had an academic argument about feminism and a great play broke out! Rapture, Blister, Burn, an insightful and barbed comedy about post-feminist uncertainty, is the rare play that immerses itself in theory and still makes us care. Continue reading →
Becky Webber as Rosalind Franklin and Nick Sulfaro as Ray Gosling in Photograph 51 performing through March 18 at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Presented by The Nora Theatre Company. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography
(Cambridge, MA) Photograph 51 chronicles Rosalind Franklin’s work, which leads to the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. Surrounded by men, Franklin does not have a chance for her voice to be heard amongst her male colleagues. Nora Theatre Company’s production presents a truthful historical presentation of the discovery. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) No one who watches Court TV or Law and Order can deny the pull of a good crime drama. Even those who pretend to be indifferent or opposed to crime drama cannot help being drawn in (and for those who are still pretending that they don’t care, wasn’t that you who tweeted about the Casey Anthony trial all of those times?). What may surprise audiences of Medea is that society hasn’t changed much in 4000 years. Actors’ Shakespeare Project brings to life a Greek drama that examines the dark impulses and desires that haunt not only the “cultured” audiences from Greece’s Golden Age, but also the dark realities of our own society.
Before the play even starts, the audience is surrounded by an air of mystery and foreboding. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) The female characters of Shakespeare’s plays are badly outnumbered by the males, sometimes fifteen to one, explains veteran thespian Tina Packer in Women of Will at the Central Square Theater. In the Bard’s works, women often operate as others and also-rans, virgins and whores, rarely receiving the main focus. But when they appear, their actions and emotions speak volumes, both about Shakespeare and society. Continue reading →