PRE: Women in Shakespeare - it's a Goooooood Thing

It’s Women’s History month and PXP is kicking off the month with #AWomanADay on Instagram. Let’s restore some faith in humanity, girls (and guys).

It’s a "boys club” would be an understatement when we look at theatre and its history. Taking it as far back as the time of our beloved Shakespeare, chicks weren’t even allowed to play the female roles on stage. Thankfully there has been some progress, and now we've got some beautiful stories being written, produced, directed, and told by badass women.

My first time with a girl started right on the coast of the East River in the wonderful St. Ann's Warehouse, and now, in my opinion, the best theatre in Brooklyn.

Okay I realize that’s a bit of a dramatic way to put it, but that was my first time seeing an all woman production and dammit if it wasn’t borderline euphoric.

For the past few years the warehouse has been the home to Phyllida Lloyd’s all female cast revivals of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest. After having seen the first one, back a year or so ago, I knew I was IN IT for the long haul. So, during Julius Caesar’s run at the warehouse I was faced with the impossibility of staying behind to see the show or going to London on my school break... London or theatre. I was actually considering staying back. But, the lack of a PXP Post on Julius Caesar will tell you what happened. I was still trying to figure out if my choice was right, when I saw The Tempest last month = mind blown. SO, the regret is real now. 

After all the mind blowing stuff thanks to Ms. Lloyd, I was so excited to see she’s not the only woman running all-female Shakespeare companies. Here are a few for folks in NYC...

The Queen’s Company:

“Joyful. Bold. Sexy. Funny. Elegant. Explosive. Riveting.”

This nonprofit is runs critically acclaimed all-female productions directed by founder and Artistic Director Rebecca Patterson. Taking these Shakespeare classics and showing the power of gender-blind casting. You work that fancy mustache, girl! 

Manhattan Shakespeare Project:

“Fostering the development of the female artist.”

Another all-female Shakespeare company committed to re-envisioning these classic tales for the future generation. Making an effort to bring the new work of emerging artist to the stage. They are not just keeping in NYC, these ladies went international! The mentorship program uses this poetic language to get the communities of the world talking to each other through Shakespeare.

The Tempest: by Torn Out Theater

“Naked Shakespeare. Bold and Beautiful.”

That’s right. Nakeeed, babee. Outdoors. A free, all-female, mostly nude production of The Tempest that has started the debate about female form and women's empowerment as well as the normalization of the nude female body. Central Park serving as the first stage to this beautiful movement, but these chicks spread the love to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Boobs have never been more excited to be liberated from the restraints of its arch nemesis, the bra.  This was last September, but I am sending out hopeful vibes that they bring it back.