Tagged under "feminism" (2)
|Get Your Feminist On|
Ever wish you had a rad group of women to help you with all those projects you dream up? This weekend, feminist creative collective For The Birds is offering up a festival of ideas and discussions on just that.
The 4th annual The Big She Bang will be happening all day this Saturday, August 15th in the West Village. Their theme, A How To Guide for DIY (that's Do It Yourself, for anyone who needs translation) Feminism, promises a full day of workshops, panels, discussions, visual art and performances by local ladies here to empower others who want to create, share, join forces, and make change.
"The theme came out of our own identification as a DIY feminist collective and recognizing that there are other groups in the area that have formed with similar inspirations and goals," says Lauren, speaking on behalf of the recently formed collective. "We wanted the opportunity to share the resources and tools that we found helpful and give an opportunity for other groups to do the same. Our collective members all have different backgrounds within organizing and feminism, so creating a space to share our experiences and learn from other people is really important."
The festival will include a wealth of information on different feminist initiatives and projects. The panel Feminist Urban Mobility features discussion between three incredible organizations: Right Rides, a Brooklyn based non-profit that gives women and transfolk free rides home on Saturday nights; Safe Walk, which offers free walking accompaniment to anyone on Friday nights in certain Brooklyn hoods; and Holla Back NYC, a site that encourages people to snap and send in photos of street harassers.
For The Birds hopes that conversations about these great causes will inspire others to start their own. "We're really hoping that the event will give women and women-identified community members access to new resources, and will create a safe space to network and feel empowered about what they'd like to see happen in their communities," says Lauren.
The festival will be happening all day, but if discussions and panels aren't your cup of tea, you should swing by The Big She Bang Saturday night for an awesome line up of several female bands and musicians, including Little Lungs, Inertia, and Zombie Dogs.
The Big She Bang will be happening this Saturday, August 15th from 10AM to Midnight at Judson Memorial Church at 55 Washington Square South. Admission is sliding scale $6-$10, but no one will be turned away. For a schedule of the festival and more information see http://www.myspace.com/thebig_shebang. You can learn more about For the Birds at their website http://www.forthebirdscollective.org.
Tagged on August 14, 2009
|27 Rue de Fleurus: A New Musical|
Last weekend, I checked out a Saturday performance of a new off-Broadway musical, 27 Rue de Fleurus, which tells the story of the relationship between trailblazing writer and philosopher Gertrude Stein and her lifelong partner, Alice B. Toklas, which spanned most of the first half of the 20th century. Though much has been written about Stein's life, very little time has been devoted to Toklas' side of the story until now.
Featuring an all-female cast, mostly made up of Broadway veterans, 27 Rue de Fleurus is narrated by Toklas, brilliantly played by Cheryl Stern. The structure of the production consists of Toklas leading us through time, speaking from the vantage point of the afterlife. Stein (Barbara Rosenblat) is also present, but while she would have had the center stage during their life together, Toklas keeps her at bay and tells their story as she remembers it. For all of her bluster, Stein's utter devotion to Toklas' quiet strength becomes more and more obvious as the play unfolds, because as she tries to downplay moments of weakness and imperfection, Toklas' character is always allowed to give the final word. The musical score is at once raunchy and tender, with songs like "Role Play", which describes their ways of keeping a married sex life interesting, and "Be My Wife", Stein's proposal to Toklas. Perhaps the most touching aspect of this production is the simplicity with which their relationship is dealt. It does not dwell specifically on the issue of Stein's sexual orientation, though she addresses it briefly and makes no apologies to the accusations of her disapproving brother, Leo Stein. Historical contemporaries such as Pablo Picasso, Sylvia Beach, and even Jean Harlow appear to spice up the plot, mostly during the "salon" scenes taking place in Stein and Toklas' living room at 27 Rue de Fleurus in France. Each one helps to complete the full portrait of the incredibly vibrant and fascinating life these two women led together in the heart of early 20th century intellectual discourse.
What we have here is a love story, fraught with jealousy and passion like others, but most of all, it celebrates the incredible bond between two women who decided to share their lives, even during a time when it was relatively unheard of. Gertrude Stein may have been a strong and formidable figure, but the lesson the audience comes away with is that she would not have been able to reach her full potential without the incredible support offered by her wife, Alice. It's an old story, to be sure. But when was the last time it was told about two women in such a traditional setting? That alone makes 27 Rue de Fleurus worth an evening of your time.
Directed by Frances Hill, the production will be running until April 6th at Urban Stages (259 W. 30th St.), and you can buy tickets here.
Tagged on March 18, 2008