(L-R) Ed Smith, Beverly Gorman and Shirley Dillard in ’Til Beth Do Us Part (A Marital Confestion)
Athens Actors Revolt
Women Are Fed Up on Local Stages
By Dina Canup firstname.lastname@example.org
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again Women everywhere are enraged. Furious words are pouring out in every medium: stories long repressed of #whyididntreport, curses aimed at the callous men in power, kindness and understanding shared between survivors, wordless primal screams at the pain of it all. How do we speak of the unspeakable? Why should we follow the rules of polite discourse while the wrongdoers spin lies and shout women into silence? How do we break repressive habits of speech? How do we talk about the most personal, painful, joyful, essential, enraging parts of our lives?
These wider questions are at the heart of UGA Theatre’s Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, an eerily well-timed production for those who want to smash the patriarchy and wrestle with the challenges of being a woman today. First produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2014 and opening Off-Broadway in 2016, it’s an angry, experimental, sometimes funny, deliberately revolutionary play that defies a simple summary.
The play’s text is open and fragmented, usually lacking clear character delineations so that it could be played as any number of characters and genders. Director Elise Robinson has created an intentionally feminist rehearsal process, using a highly collaborative approach that focuses on playing with language and seeing what relationships emerge. The actors (Alexa Adcock, Brooke McCarthy, T. Lynn Mikeska, Kya Missick, Eva Ramirez, Atalanta Siegel, David Cowan, Evan King and Luis Omar Perez) “have noted what a privilege it is to be working on this play at this time,” Robinson says. “To take all the insanity and use it to channel our creative energies into being productive.”
With performances followed by information about voting and domestic violence resources, post-show discussions, a display by an artist whose work is on resilience and a Saturday matinee with an ASL interpreter, the play encourages the audience to take the experience beyond the confines of the theater. “You don’t just come, have a laugh, and be done,” Robinson says. “Revolt is a strong word, but it’s kinda what we’re asking people to do.”
Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, by Alice Birch, is presented by UGA Theatre in the Cellar Theatre Tuesday, Oct. 9–Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. matinees Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14. The Oct. 13 matinee will have two ASL interpreters. Tickets are $12, $7 for UGA students and available at ugatheatre.com/revolt, 706-542-4400 or in person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box offices.
’Til Beth Do Us Part (A Marital Confection) If you’d rather take a break from the unending stress of our current news cycle, Arts! Oglethorpe offers a lighthearted take on marriage and friendship written by the team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten (one of whom was a writer and producer for “The Golden Girls”), who bring a sitcom vibe to community theater stages.
The comedy centers around a busy woman, Suzannah (Shirley Dillard), whose husband, Gibby (Ed Smith), isn’t carrying his share of the home and marriage load. Enter her new assistant, Beth (Beverly Gorman), described as “a Southern belle from hell” who storms the house and organizes it with military efficiency. Can their friends (Penny Miller and Scott Lewis) stop Beth from kicking Gibby to the curb in the process? With increasingly silly plot twists and impersonations, it could be a low-stress escape from current events in a charming historic space.
’Til Beth Do Us Part (A Marital Confection) is presented by Arts! Oglethorpe in The Historic Crawford School Thursday, Oct. 18–Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday, Oct. 21. Tickets are $18, $13 in advance and available at artsoglethorpe.org or 706-540-0785.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Athens Little Playhouse’s own playwright-in-residence, Lynne Thomas, has adapted this play from the original novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. A dark Victorian tale of good vs. evil in human nature that features the kindly Dr. Jekyll who turns into the monstrous Mr. Hyde, this version is spooky but child-friendly, with a little humor to please the kids and the grown-ups in the audience.
It’s presented by Athens Little Playhouse Children’s Theatre Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m., with 3 p.m. matinees Sunday, Oct. 14 and 21. Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults and available at athenslittleplayhouse.net
Nunsense There’s one weekend left of Town & Gown Players’ musical production featuring fundraising nuns putting on a talent show. At Athens Community Theatre Thursday, Oct. 11–Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Oct. 14. Tickets are $20, $15 for students, seniors and members on Thursdays and available at 706-208-8696 and townandgownplayers.org.
PLAY READING: Who is Lenny Davis? A work in progress by Avery Bufkin and part of the Circle Ensemble Theatre Company's Second Sundays new-play reading series, the free staged reading at Winterville Auditorium will be followed by a critical discussion Sunday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. Visit circleensembletheatre.com or contact email@example.com for more information.