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Political Theatre & Performance

Feminism, Theatre & Performance

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Throughout the 20th century, feminist performance has interrogated the ways women’s conventional representation is often derogatory, or exploitative, reproducing scenes of female disempowerment.

Africa Everywhere – Montreal
Reflections on former Artistic Director of the Black Theatre Workshop, Quincy Armorer, who, in Africa Everywhere – Montreal, remarks on the company’s staying power as a primarily Anglophone and Black theatre company in a largely Francophone and white arts scene in Montreal.
Among the Living: Memories of Lisa Mayo
Lisa Mayo of the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations was a founding member of the Native American women’s feminist theatre group, Spiderwoman Theater. She was a singer, actor, and playwright who wrote and performed with Spiderwoman Theater for 35 years.
Binti’s Journey (Part 1)
Reflections on the first public performance of Binti’s Journey (Part 1), an adaptation of the young adult novel The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis. Binti’s Journey centers on the perspective of 13-year-old Binti, who has lost her father, Bambo.
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Katharina Seyferth introduces the forest-based work space of Brzezinka, as she recounts her experience of Grotowski's post-theatrical research known as "Paratheatre" and "Theatre of Sources."
Chit Chat Passages
Solo performance vocalizing a US State Department questionnaire, a woman’s response to being mugged, and a existential soliloquy.
CoNCrEte (2009)  screendance reveals how the environment affects our emotions and ever-changing lived experience. 
This piece is an excerpt from a half-hour documentary shot in Grahamstown, South Africa, during the annual National Arts Festival ( Interviews were conducted with a wide range of choreographers.   This selection focuses on up-and-coming artists Julia Wilson, Lorin Sookool,  Athena Mazarakis, and Kamogelo Molobye.  The works are inspired by challenges facing women, gays, and lesbians in contemporary South Africa. 
Drawing on a Mother’s Experience  IMAGE
A work that built on Baker’s experience of using autobiographical materials in performances such as My Cooking Competes, blending this with a commentary on domesticity, motherhood and art.
freedom (2008)
Walking Gusto Productions explores the marginalised and disempowered female voices of South Africa by using the body as a “site of resistance”
Glenda Dickerson
Since 1981, I have been conducting research on black women behind the scenes in the American theatre. As a black female lighting designer, I am aware of our invisibility within the larger American theatre and have made an effort to expose these women to a wider audience. I have interviewed numerous black women who have made significant contributions to the American theatre. These women include designers, producers, directors, playwrights, artistic directors, and other individuals working behind the scenes. This is a rare interview I conducted with Glenda Dickerson (1945-2012) during a rehearsal of her adaptation of The Trojan Women, performed with an all-black cast during January 1983. This interview is very dear to me as Dickerson was a mentor. I followed her career with various interviews, tapings at conferences, and the publication of one of her plays. Glenda Dickerson was a director, folklorist, actress, adapter/conceiver, and educator. With a career of nearly 40 years she was known for her unique adaptations of Greek classics, African American folktales, the feminist theatre approach, and ensemble work. She was the second black woman to direct on Broadway with the 1980 musical Reggae. Her work has also been presented nationally and internationally. In the commercial arena she was constantly presented with racial and gender challenges. After working in mainstream theatre for many years, Dickerson chose to focus her talents on educational and community-oriented theatre. She also began to concentrate on feminist/womanist theatre. She taught at Howard University, Spelman, Rutgers, and the University of Michigan. Only in recent years is her work finally gaining recognition, but as with many other black women, Dickerson’s contributions are largely unknown.
A relentlessly monochrome solo performance inspired by avant garde grotesque dancer Valeska Gert, this defiant work explores female sexuality, mixing humour, absurdity, dignity and vulnerability.
Harlem Duet (Part 4)
Harlem Duet (Part 4) is a prequel to Shakespeare’s Othello and explores Othello’s relationship with his first wife, Sybil.   
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Documenting the research and teaching of Ewa Benesz during two work sessions that she led in Italy, offering an unprecedented insight into her artistic approach to performance.
Kitchen Show
A performance piece which saw Baker open her kitchen to the public and display a set of live actions, making performance from everyday tasks which nevertheless require skill, dexterity and endurance.
Lisa Mayo: Between the Layers
Lisa Mayo: Between the Layers is an interview reflecting on the training, accomplishments, experiences, and the life of Lisa Mayo.
A solo performance boldly exploring female empowerment and resilience in the context of male behaviour.
Nimilitha: The Story of a Siddi Girl Who Closed Her Eyes
Siddi theatre performers and sisters, Geeta and Girija Siddi, performing in a two-week festival, Telling Our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African & African Diaspora Communities.
Pangaean Dreams
Pangaean Dreams is a multimedia piece which leads the audience on a shamanic journey back 250 million years to the time when the earth’s continents were all fused into one.
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This piece, conceived and directed by Seyferth, is based on Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms.
Short Plays with Great Roles For Women
Actors Georgia Nicholson, Sabrina Richmond, Rebecca Yeo, and Laura Evelyn are interviewed about the characters they played in the anthology plays.
Sun, Moon and Feather - The Film
Sun, Moon and Feather presents a musical comedy-documentary about three Native American sisters growing up Native in an Italian neighbourhood in Brooklyn during the 1930s and 1940s.
Sweet Sugar Rage
Sistren Theatre Collective concerns itself with women sugar cane workers in and around Hayes Newton "New Sugar Town," Clarendon, Jamaica. After interviewing the women in the fields, the group analyses its findings on conditions in the sugar belt and the scenario for a play emerges. Their performances speak directly to the daily experiences of women -- the least empowered workers, who labour long hours for low wages with no benefits or rights to organize for better conditions. Using role-play and interviews with female cane workers, the collective develops dramatizations which analyze social issues and pinpoint their concerns.
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By providing unprecedented access to the work of Grotowski’s women collaborators, this film, featuring Rena Mirecka, offers a more inclusive assessment of Grotowski’s enduring legacy.
The Organs’ Presence in Voice, Movement and Expression Workshop
The Organs’ Presence in Voice, Movement and Expression Workshop, Patricia Bardi holds a workshop on combining somatic practice and improvisation in integrating voice and movement in a creative process.
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Katherina Seyferth’s training methodology includes yoga-based movement and plastiques, as well as exercises focusing on the passage from stillness to movement and accessing one's organic drive.
Vocal Dance Lecture-Performance
Inthis lively performance, Patricia Bardi shares some of her discoveries and insights that have developed over many years of independent research and performance practice of Vocal Dance. Performed at the SDNO, School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam, 1995.
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Documenting a three-day work session introducing participants to key aspects of the training Rasmussen developed with her group, The Bridge of Winds, culminating in a Montage of Actions and Songs.
by Suzette Coon
Introduction for Short Plays with Great Roles for Women written by Suzette Coon.

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