Ever feel like someone should be keeping track of all the ways women – their bodies, voices, stories, and behaviors – are being represented (or completely disregarded) on stage?
Seattle theatre artists Hatlo, Courtney Meaker, and Erin Pike created a performance aptly titled That’swhatshesaid, which collages together moments from several selected popular plays of the last few years. Showcased plays include Tribes, Venus In Fur, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, some of the most frequently produced plays of the last season.
The project hopes to shed light on the types of characters female actors are frequently relegated to. By presenting an “accumulation,” the creators aim to highlight how one-dimensional the women we see on stage often are. All too often, women are stuck playing one-note objects of desire, stereotypically angry moms, or “bossy” businesswomen. Too many bodies are objectified and too many voices are stifled, and That’swhatshesaid is right in demanding more from the nation’s leading writers.
Without seeking to accuse playwrights (and while acknowledging the many strides being made by conscientious and revolutionary writer) the team behind That’swhatshesaid is bringing awareness to the need for more fully rendered female characters — and we think their work deserves a standing ovation.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.