Week 2: Reenvisioning Queer Women in History
Surprise! We are back with a second weekly recap this week because somehow we are already in week 3 and a certain Chicago Theatre Triathlon participant is losing track of time. Someone needs a watch, and a coffee while we're at it :)
This week we delved into a wonderful exploration of representations of women in film and theatre through a queer historical lens. We extended this examination to also focusing our shout outs to organizations that are queer based. Theatre Crush Thursday was dedicated to About Face Theatre. Follow Friday gave props to Trans Voices Cabaret CHI and Project Fierce. Let's see what fierce femaleness our eyes were set on this week.
A once deemed controversial play for its inherent lesbian themes, The Children's Hour is known today as a theatrical classic by Lillian Hellman. It's a play that is still constantly performed and I can see why. Seeing a play that conjectures the idea of two gay women, but that is not about two gay women is an interesting aspect.
There is also something to be said of a fascination this film further exemplifies of young girls being able to control adults and their ideas with a lie. With The Crucible, The Bad Seed, and countless others, young women can be terrifying and prepared to take down two established, hardworking women with the bat of an eyelash. It's interesting to see the antagonistic force coming from little Mary and then echoed by conservative older women. Usually from what I've witnessed in film and theatre, the resistance to queer women is typically displayed from men as a means to "reassert" their heterosexuality.
Today we had a play I've been dying to read ever since I saw Paula Vogel's Indecent at Victory Gardens and it did not disappoint. Although Vogel allows the characters to become less caricature like in having the actors and playwright speak on their behalf, the original text is very strong. It's extremely well written and it's cool to peel back the curtain even further back than Hellman in 1906 with Sholom Asch's God of Vengeance. Asch liberates his female characters in a time when options were limited. And to create a love story akin to a female Romeo and Juliet are pretty damn high standards by the theatre gods (and theatregoers).
I cannot get enough of this film. This is one of the films that stays with you and you can't forget what you've seen. It may have been one of my favourite films of 2018 (c'mon I had to). It's also a film that I feel deserves the royal treatment in seeing in person. I know movie tickets ain't cheap, but this felt so regal and grand that you deserve to treat yourself! Also, in case you missed it Olivia Colman was straight up in adorable awe when she won her Golden Globe. If you needed more of an incentive, she freaking nails the speech and the role.
I had the immense pleasure of seeing the first preview of Pride Films and Plays' I Know My Own Heart. As far as previews and productions go, this one was an surprise. For someone who prefers her plays short and easily divulged in ninety minutes, this little over two hour, steaming kettle of tension and tawdry romance was bustling hot. It definitely got me in the mood, to see more theatre that is. I'm watching you Pride Films and Plays.
When you have a cute AF Kate Spade mini notebook with golden pages (please indulge my basicness), you have to spend some time writing. I have a significant collection of tiny, decorated notebooks that keep my furiously written and crossed out thoughts organized. The pretty covers often disguise the madness hidden within. I'm curious if others have similar collections to track ideas. I try my best to stay organized digitally, but I deeply believe there are few things more satisfying than writing a new idea in the moment down on paper.
You're not repeating days. I loved Pride Films and Plays' I Know My Own Heart so much I decided to write about it. Feel free to check out my review. An incredible ensemble that is all women, delightful humor and heartbreak, and such a blast to the past that feels nuanced, entertaining, and an awakening for queer women. There's such an unapologetic nature that lens itself to this production and with a fitting protagonist. All the elements are encompassed so well and create a vivid picture that in the hands of someone else could feel like a stiff, dry story.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has been one of my favorite shows for as long as I can remember. Similar to one of my other favorite shows, The Good Place, it becomes more innovative with each season. It doesn't limit its charming ensemble with equally different, but compelling personalities, and allows their stories to thrive. For someone who is a major fan of the earlier seasons, I still find myself thinking of certain moments or musical numbers from the later seasons that are mindblowingly brilliant. It's everything that Glee tried to be, but for adults and with ahem, original musical numbers.
See y'all next week!