‘She The People’ at Woolly Mammoth will make you stand up and roar for women’s rights and experiences. Playing through January 6, 2019, this is a tour-de-force production done in double time about women’s issues, which are, really, human issues. These women are woke and angry and ready to womansplain for those that just don’t get it. They’re raucous, racy, aware, active and beautiful.
…a fast-paced, wild ride of a show that throws off sparks.
It’s a fast-paced, wild ride of a show that throws off sparks. Starting with how woman are so often portrayed in the media, especially through advertising, the six cast members zip on and off stage in a series of vignettes that are funny and uncomfortable at the same time. They’re not pulling any punches or soothing any egos.
In some ways, the show asks that old question, “What do women want?” Well, they want to be heard, to be treated with dignity and respect, to be valued for all of their contributions and complexity, not just for having shiny hair and perky smiles. While The Second City troupe uses humor as the launching pad, there is some real bite in this show taken right from the headlines.
The writers (Carisa Barreca, Maria Caceres, Carly Heffernan, Tien Tran, and Lauren Walker) certainly have a lot of material to work with, and they work it fast and hard. Each skit lasts from two minutes to about eight minutes and they move seamlessly from one to another.
The actors are Atra Asdou, Alex Bellisle, Kazi Jones, Carisa Barreca, Katie Caussin and Maggie Wilder. They are all shapes and sizes and heights and colors and they are funny. Even when righteously angry, the comedic timing is impeccable. And given the speed at which the show proceeds, I imagine they are exhausted at the end. And not only because of the pacing, but with how many times do the same battles have to be fought?
This is not a Christmas show, but it would be a lovely gift for the women in one’s life, and the men as well. The night I saw it, many of the men in the audience were laughing and cheering as hard as the women.
The staging is a series of tall, inter-connected pillars and cutouts and the lighting is blazing and fast as well. The sound was excellent; even with all the laughter and woo-
This is a celebration of women’s voices, ideas and stories. It pays homage to the “272 women candidates for Congress this year (out of 964), and the 215 who were people of color, and the 26 who were openly LGBTQ. The show celebrates that in 2018, women are pushing back and pushing forward, and demanding to be treated as fully-functional humans. It was a blast.
Running Time: About two hours and 15 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.
“She The People” runs through January 6, 2019, at Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington, DC. For more information, click here.