By Emily Byrne
Filled with intense, powerful, poetic dialogue and profound strength, this production of Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again., written by Alice Birch and directed by Zoe Lesser ‘19, makes a bold statement about female identity and its larger place within society.
Set in Studio A, there is no set except for black curtains that go all around the sides of the stage, a burlap sack-like tarp taped to the floor, and a projection screen on the wall facing the audience. Without a detailed set, the production relies heavily on props—flowers, lipstick, dinner plates and watermelons—as well as various types of colored lighting and spotlights, as devices to tell the story. The actors (Anna Marie Fama ’21, Rinzin Thonden Alling ’20, Katie Compson ’21, Miranda Coble ’19, Anna O’Dea ’19, and Justine Bolling ’22) wear all-black clothing and no other costume pieces.
Although wrestling with some very serious issues, the show still manages to elicit a great deal of laughter—alongside tears. Opening with a rapid introductory dialogue, with the entire cast overlapping lines, the show presents itself like six individual sketches joined by a common theme, rather than one linear storyline. Each scene has its own title, such as “Revolutionize the Work” and “Revolutionize the Body,” and these titles are projected onto the wall facing the audience. There are also no formally named characters, continuing the “sketch” structure of the piece.
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. raises a lot of significant questions about the controversial and critical themes surrounding the female identity and experience. It plays out multiple scenarios that many female-identifying people encounter or have encountered, and puts them under serious examination in a deeply touching manner. The show begins with a man coarsely describing to a woman all the things he wants to do to her sexually, to which the woman responds that maybe she wants to do those things to him instead, highlighting the power struggle between the genders. The final scene of the show provides a ray of hope—in an act of defiance and ownership of the body, the actors strip down to their underwear and smash watermelons to pieces, a moment symbolizing the personal destruction of and liberation from the constructs and ideals of gender.
A war-cry in a silent world, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, encourages us to challenge instead of merely accept—to fight back against the inequalities and prejudices that plague our world.
By: Alice Birch
Director: Zoe Lesser ’19
Stage Manager: Max Clifford ’21
Lighting Designer: Lea Tanenbaum ’19
Sound Designer: Graham Cook ’19
Projection Designer: Finley Martin ’19
Cast: Anna O’Dea ’19, Anna Marie Fama ’21, Justine Bolling ’22, Katie Compson ’21, Miranda Coble ’19, Rinzin Thonden Alling ’20
Emily Byrne is a first year writer for STLN