According to The Guardian UK
, people scoffed at all-female Shakespeare... until it became an 'unstoppable uprising'. Like many artists around the world, I have been inspired by hearing Shakespeare's words borne gloriously aloft by the voices of those who are not traditionally cast in the Bard's greatest roles.
I recently had a dialogue with a brilliant writer (My dear friend and colleague, Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth.) She said, "If women become the subjects rather than the objects (in Shakespeare's plays), it matters much less whether we're likable or not. It doesn't matter how we are (pretty, sexy, innocent, patient, nurturing, nice); It matters what we can do (hunt, capture, kill, acquire, win)."
Over the past three years, I've worked on three Seattle-based productions: "Romeo & Juliet", "Coriolanus" and "cherubin" (written by Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth, based substantially on the story of the "The Tempest") that have challenged me to reinvent everything I thought I knew about Shakespeare precisely because they subjectify (rather than objectify) the 'female' characters.
Then, I discovered that there is an LA-based film and theater production company, called Fractured Shakespeare, doing exactly that. Their mission is to synthesize the timeless truths of the Bard, with the truths of our contemporary society’s imperative to evolve who and how these work are presented to the public.
I contacted them to audition for their upcoming show, "SPEAK I WILL"
at the Hollywood Fringe Festival
, which will be performed throughout the month of June. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled to be offered a role. I'm excited for the possibility to collaborate with this powerful, talented ensemble of female artists in another city, with a shared love for the works of Shakespeare.
As a working artist and mother of a college-aged son, the additional expenses of performing in LA for the month of June are a challenging obstacle. As it is a fringe festival, there is very little compensation for the artists. I am reaching out to my community in hopes you might be inspired to help.
I am incredibly grateful for ANY level of sponsorship you feel you can offer. Any monetary gift you give is a valuable contribution toward making this opportunity possible. And your help furthers the mission of empowering female artists to share their passion, hard work and insight in service of creating a theater of equity and representation.
Last November, I had the honor of meeting Jill Soloway at a book signing in Seattle. I expressed how profoundly their quote, “Why do female characters have to be likable?” had impacted my life as an artist. That quote is actually the reason I decided to produce an all-female Coriolanus. Expressly because Coriolanus is a wonderfully complex, unlikable character; and I wanted to give a female voice the authority to speak the words of the deeply flawed hero. At the end of our conversation, Jill Soloway scribed in my copy of their book something that I have held close as an affirmation and benediction of sorts. They said “You inspired me tonight. Keep making stuff.”
Please help me “Keep making stuff” with your support.Performance Details - Hollywood Fringe Festival: Speak I WillFractured Shakespeare's latest short film: