Change the World, One Play at a Time

I will admit, when I got cast in Emotional Creature, I was a little nervous.  The feeling around campus was that it was one of “those” plays–offensive to some people, incendiary, and, God forbid, “feminist.”  None of that scared me, but the scoffing and reactions of a lot of our community made me nervous.

I’m pretty embarrassed by that now.

Being a member of this ensemble full of strong women (my second all-women show of the semester; craziness) has shown me the power of theatre.  This show is saying something that is important for everyone in the world to hear, no matter their age, sex, or socio-economic status.  

Emotional Creature is a collection of monologues and ensemble pieces by Eve Ensler that details “the secret life of girls around the world.”  It covers the struggles and trials of girls from age 13 to 18, living on almost every continent.  These are stories of sexual trafficking, of bullying, of imprisonment, of discrimination…but mainly they are stories of survival.  While girls are often portrayed as the weakest beings on earth, they are actually some of the strongest, able to survive physical and emotional hardships that would tear others apart.  So…why are we constantly trying to shut them down, tell them not to be so extreme, to grow up, to be serious?  Why aren’t we letting girls be girls, and harness the powers of joy and emotion inside them?

I never really thought of these questions before, because I was blessed to be raised in a family that let me be a child and didn’t pressure me into bottling my emotions. Which is good, because I cry constantly so I’d probably explode. Thanks family!

I believe that theatre is a stepping stone–a public forum to get people motivated, to make them want to DO something for others, or change something about themselves. But this show has changed me, too.  I want to teach.  I want to provide an outlet for girls (and boys!) around the world.  Maybe I’ll go to Sierra Leone and teach English through Shakespeare.  Or maybe I’ll visit Cambodian safe houses, and show girls how to express their emotions through dance and song and theatre.  I don’t know what it will be, but I know I will DO something.  And that is a very, very powerful emotion for a 20 year old college girl.  

If you would like more information about this powerful show, or the issues of girls all over the world, do I have some for you!

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You can read the book! Find it here.
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Read Half the Sky, an amazing resource for info about girls around the world, their hardships, and what we can do about it.  Powerful and moving. Find it here.
 
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PBS also made an amazing “Behind the Lens” documentary with the authors of Half the Sky, who traveled with famous female celebrities to visit places of discrimination all over the world, putting a face on the cause.  Get ready for a moving and motivating few hours.
You can find the webpage here.
 
I hope this post adds a little bit of world-changing motivation to your day 🙂
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