Extraordinary Women: Real and Imagined

Festival Playhouse invites you to meet some extraordinary women, real and imagined.

Senior and junior directors Arshia Will ’14 and Jane Huffman ’15 will share their work (Maria Irene Fornes’ Mud and a compilation of Shakespeare scenes titled What She Wills) at Festival Playhouse’s Senior Performance Series, presented in Kalamazoo College’s Dungeon theatre February 13-16. The works offer two highly contrasting portrayals of women—one places Shakespeare’s female characters in a new setting with fresh voices; the other portrays a woman’s uncompromising effort to carve out her own life amidst severe poverty and abusive relationships.

Huffman chose to direct Mud in part because she sees the character Mae as a later-day Antigone: “Cunningly and aggressively, she subverts the paradigms that oppress her. She is a mirror. She is a call to action. She is a singular voice that resounds with that of countless women who have been rendered voiceless.”

In What She Wills, Will  has provided an opportunity for Shakespeare’s female characters to be heard from a woman’s perspective.

“Shakespeare may not have written roles for women actors since every role in Shakespeare’s time was played by men, but the women characters he created are complex and compelling,” says Will.  “The characters are so rich they can be found throughout history and today. We have seen countless Juliets and Lady Macbeths, and they will continue to live on. What She Wills takes these famous Shakespearean women and puts them in new environments and under ’new lights.’ It illustrates how enduring and relevant Shakespeare is today.”

The Senior Performance Series also features the work of three senior designers: Kelly Eubank (costumes), David Landskroener (sound), and Mary Mathyer (set). Sophomore Katie Lee is the lighting designer.

The show will open on Thursday, February 13, at 7:30pm, and run Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, at 8pm. The show closes on Sunday, February 16, at 2pm. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door. For more information about these and the remainder of Festival Playhouse’s golden anniversary season (including The Firebugs and Peer Gynt), call 269.337.7333 or visit www.kzoo.edu/theatre.

The Senior Performance Series continues the tradition of featuring the work of Kalamazoo College students creating their own theatre.

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About Jim Van Sweden

Director, College Communications