Well, yes, of course the purpose of theatre is to entertain, but also as a platform to educate and elevate.
The projected HeForShe Arts Week that kicks off March 8th in support UN Women’s mission for gender equality arts and cultural institutions in New York City will coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th. UN Women will partner with cultural and art institutions, like The Public Theater which is taking a lead role. The Public’s Artistic Director Oskar Eustis says “The theater is a collaborative form, and the core of collaboration is solidarity. The Public is proud to stand in solidarity with HeForShe and the United Nations as we fight together for a better world.”
During the inaugural arts week in March, venues for ballets, operas, Broadway shows, concerts, as well as other theatres, galleries, and museums will enjoy the opportunity to join the HeForShe Initiative and spotlight the work of UN Women as the global champion for the rights of women and girls. These other partner institutions will also donate a percentage of proceeds to UN Women to support its efforts in advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality globally.
Emma Watson, British Actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador adds “… it makes perfect sense for HeForShe to partner with arts institutions like The Public Theater to evolve the behaviors, norms, and perceptions that shapes our cultural view of gender.” The goal for HeForShe is gender parity, to be achieved as Planet 50-50 by 2030. (See how the League of Professional Theatre Women are awarding gender equality in the theater, here.)
The stories of three very different women merge in The Hundred We Are, by the famous Swedish novelist, playwright and activist Jonas Hassen Khemiri. In The Hundred We Are, Khemeri conflates the lives of a young radical, a middle-aged housewife, and a discerning world-traveler in his innovative new memory play. The Hundred We Are, is at the cell from March 16th through April 8th, in an Origin Theatre’s production. For information on Origin and The Hundred We Are, visit www.origintheatre.org.
From February 25th through April 6th, LAByrinth Theater Company presents the New York premiere of The Way West by Mona Mansour, directed by Mimi O’Donnell, and featuring in its ensemble Deirdre O’Connell. The comedy treats the serious subject of debt and dependencies in a funny and poignant way. To learn more about The Way West, please visit labtheater.org.
Abrons Arts Center & New York City Players (NYCP) present a world premiere of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Really, directed by Richard Maxwell and designed by photographer Michael Schmelling, from March 16th – April 2nd. Really concerns itself with grief, and intimacy. In the play, a woman takes photographs of her boyfriend’s mom, and they jockey to a claim on him. To learn more about Really, please visit www.nycplayers.org and also abronsartscenter.org.
In the world of Shakespeare, there is always something to celebrate and often something to learn. It is the 400th year of William Shakespeare, and Letter of Marque Theater Company has uncovered a “new” play by the Bard. Double Falsehood, at the Irondale Center March 5th through April 9th, 2016, has many elements usual in a Shakespearean work. The action in Double Falsehood is propelled by a sexual assault, which Letter of Marque is using to create an important dialogue. During the run, there will be additional programming and panels to discuss rape culture in our country. To learn more about Double Falsehood and Letter of Marque Theater Company, visit www.lomtheater.org. To learn more about the panels and programming discussions, please also go to www.lomtheater.org/double-falsehood.html
Starting in April, in Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again., Alice Birch explores the thorny questions of gender supremacy and how inequality is sustained through the politics of language. Playing at Soho Rep, April 5–
May 1 , extended to May 15th the production, presented in association with John Adrian Selzer, and marking U.S. debut of the award-winning U.K. playwright is directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. To learn more about Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again., please visit sohorep.org.
Edward R. Murrow contributed mightily when it came to doing good. He brooked no nonsense even from the scary likes of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Joseph Vitale looks at the man and his career in Murrow, starring Joseph Menino, and directed by Jeremy Williams. Murrow, produced by Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, is in a limited engagement at The Wild Project from May 4th through May 22nd. To learn more about Murrow and about the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, please visit www.MurrowThePlay.com and http://www.phoenixtheatreensemble.org/murrow/