Life Stories

Diana Son’s atomic blast of a short play “R.A.W. (‘Cause I’m a Woman)”–the acronym stands for Raunchy Asian Women–to the writings of Jerzy Grotowski and Augusto Boal (Towards a Poor Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed, respectively), these three plays entertained and challenged me as a spectator, and, yes, pressed my professorial buttons, but I can’t help that.

Most exciting, I saw the plays engage a full house of not-necessarily-theatre-nerds in the same way. I suspect most of the spectators didn’t have a clue what they were in for on Saturday night when they took their seats. A lively discussion followed among the audience and cast, with a hot mic being passed about like a hot potato, with no shortage of feelings being openly shared and discussed in a safe space. Everything from a questioning of whether the roles of women have ever really changed (wife, mother, daughter, trophy, housekeeper) despite legal advances, in Ebong Theatrix’ “A Living Doll” to gender and transgender issues in professional sports in Kushilob’s “Shikhandi,” named for a transgender character in the Mahabarata, to the numbing impact of modern technology on humanity in Epic Actors Workshop’s “Twilight,” was up for heated discussion.

I look forward to Kushilob, et al’s next productions and hope they keep finding ways to reach wider audiences.

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