Whoo, feminist theatre! Female creators! Stories about women written by women!
If you’re into any of these things, you should probably check out Revolution They Wrote, Concordia’s Short Works Feminist Theatre Festival going on this weekend at the MainLine Gallery on St-Laurent. It’s a collection of four shows, all describing various aspects of female experience, each between 25 and 50 minutes long, in one night. They still have two performances left: one tonight, Saturday March 19, and one tomorrow. Tickets are $3 for one show and $10 for all four, and they begin at 8 PM.
That’s all the technical stuff. Now, about the actual shows!
The Izzy Spectrum
Written by Cleopatra Boudreau, The Izzy Spectrum explores the fluidity of sexuality and sexual orientation. Super contemporary and set in Montreal, which made it feel totally accessible. It tells the story of young adult Izzy coming to terms with her sexuality after spending the night with another woman. This show was performed as a staged reading, as it’s still a work in progress, but nothing about it felt incomplete. Boudreau’s writing is hilarious, sweet, and very real. None of the humour felt forced, very much to the credit of the fantastic cast bursting with energy.
A Chorus of Unidentified Singers (ACOUS)
As this was originally a poetry piece, this show was very close to spoken word. ACOUS, written by Jess Glavina, discusses the unnamed role of women in both history and the contemporary world. Simple, elegant staging and lack of props focused the audience’s attention on the poetic script, divided into five acts, I believe. Each act almost acted as a movement-based poem. The silence between the lines spoke almost as much as the words themselves. Gorgeous piece.
I’d call RE:FUSE the most experimental piece of the night. Created and performed by Madeline Smart and Kathleen McKeown, it explores the cyclical nature of violence against women. What an exciting piece of performance art! The text was very sparse but completely effective, as it was very movement-based. At times funny, at times scary, but always exhilarating, RE:FUSE is a wild ride. Expect tutus, fantastic lighting, bowls of water, and lots of physicality. And most of all, prepare to be surprised.
The Blood Countess
The last piece of the night, The Blood Countess by Calla Wright and Emily Schon, tells the true story of Elizabeth Báthory, noblewoman in the 16th-century Kingdom of Hungary who was accused of killing and torturing hundreds of young women between 1585 and 1610. According to Schon, also the artistic director of Revolution They Wrote, it talks about “the fucked up way women are remembered in history,” and that it does. The piece is performed by three talented actors, all in the role of Elizabeth, and they seamlessly interact to tell the variations of the countess’s story. Such effective storytelling, simple but powerful use of props and sounds, the show is both fascinating and horrifying to watch. A fantastic way to end the night.
This is a really exciting festival, and it’s only in its second year so far. I can’t wait to see where it goes in future years, and I really hope you can make the time to drop by and experience these wonderful theatre pieces. You have until Sunday night!