Artemisia Theatre presents SUFFRAGE PLAYS Review: Celebrating Women’s Suffrage

L-R: Brittani Yawn and Lucinda Johnston in SUFFRAGE PLAYS Heather Mall

Artemisia Theatre presents Festival of One Acts

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Artemisia Theatre Company presents a festival of three one-acts: Evelyn Glover’s A Chat with Mrs. Chicky and Miss Appleyard’s Awakening, and George Bernhard Shaw’s Press Cuttings. All directed by Beth Wolf, Each of the plays takes place around 1913 in Pre-Suffrage London, and shares the various perspectives around the Suffrage Movement. While some were in favor of a woman’s right to vote, others were against – both men and women, and the stories explore those reasons at length.

L-R: Megan DeLay and Lucinda Johnston in SUFFRAGE PLAYS Heather Mall

A Taste of Evelyn Glover

While a number of women in the early 1900s were in favor of a woman’s right to vote, a large portion of the Anti-Suffrage Movement was also comprised of women – those who felt that a woman’s place was in the home, and any involvement in politics could take her away from that responsibility. Both of Glover’s plays in the festival showcase that conflict, also exploring how issues of class play a role.

L-R: Brittani Yawn and Megan DeLay in SUFFRAGE PLAYS Heather Mall

In A Chat with Mrs. Chicky, upper-class Mrs. Holbrook (Lucinda Johnston) arrives at the home of charwoman Mrs Chicky (Megan Delay) to discuss the Anti-Suffrage Movement, only to realize that Mrs. Chicky in fact is a suffragette herself.  In Miss Appleyard’s Awakening, Mrs. Crabtree (Megan Delay) invites Anti-Suffrage Activist Mrs. Appleyard (Brittani Yawn) to sign an anti-suffrage petition. Over the course of the play, Mrs. Appleyard comes to realize the errors in her beliefs, and perhaps her interest in activism would be better utilized on the other side of the movement. Both plays plant the audience in the everyday lives of these women, and invite us to consider the perspectives stemming from the very real situations in which they find themselves. How does class play a role, and how might it impact a woman’s responsibility to her home?

George Bernard Shaw’s Chaotic Farce

While Glover’s plays are grounded in reality, Shaw’s Press Cuttings is a little more heightened. The piece explores a world in which the suffrage movement leads to total chaos – and the only way to shut it down might be pure violence from the military. Shaw’s play takes a different look at politics, and a woman’s role in that world. While some women might believe that their voice would be better heard if they have a place in Parliament and the vote, others find that their perspectives are better heard through whispering into the ear of a man in leadership. The inclusion of this particular play in the night offered a nice contrast to Glover’s work, inviting us to learn about various perspectives at play in 1913 London.

Including three plays in the night is a fun idea, and allows the opportunity to explore various perspectives and questions. This writer wondered if the size of the project created a bit of an obstacle for the team - preventing them from taking the time needed on the various aspects of the production. As a result, some elements felt a little under rehearsed or unspecific. Regardless, if you are someone (like this writer) who follows art exploring this particular political moment, this could certainly be a festival for you.

 

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED

L-R: Ross Frawley and Vijay Sarathi in SUFFRAGE PLAYS Heather Mall
L-R: Lucinda Johnston, Ross Frawley, and Brittani Yawn in SUFFRAGE PLAYS Heather Mall

When

Running through November 24, 2019

Wednesdays at 7:30pm
Thursdays at 7:30pm
Fridays at 7:30pm
Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 3:00pm

Where

The Den Theatre
1331 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

 

Tickets:

$20+

For tickets and information, see the Artemisia Theatre website.

Check for Half-Price Deals from Hot Tix:

Photos: Heather Mall

Note: Picture This Post reviews are excerpted by Theatre in Chicago

About the Author:

Lauren Katz is a freelance director and dramaturge, and new to the Chicago Theatre Scene. She recently moved from Washington DC, where she worked with Mosaic Theater Company of DC in Company Management, as well as directed around town with various theaters.

Click here to read more Picture this Post stories by Lauren Katz.

Save

Share this:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1

Make a Comment

One thought on “Artemisia Theatre presents SUFFRAGE PLAYS Review: Celebrating Women’s Suffrage

  1. WTF….a scream fest!…especially the dialogue between the general and orderly. Where is the director? It was akin to listening to Brahms Lullaby performed at march tempo, and fortisimo volume.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *