Circle Theatre's World Premiere THE CONDITION OF FEMME to Explore the Many Facets of Rape Culture
Circle Theatre's 2017-18 season will begin with the world premiere of THE CONDITION OF FEMME, an exploration of rape culture based on actual events in the lives of sexual assault survivors interviewed by playwright Lauren Marie Powell. The drama includes monologues delivered by 11 characters created from Powell's interviewees, as well as a central character called Reagan, who is a counselor for a sexual assault hotline. Powell says, "Every character in the show is a fictionalized person based on those many testimonies, with verbatim quotes included throughout the piece. Most of the characters are an amalgamation of multiple testimonies around recurrent themes in their interviews. Reagan, based on a social worker and a rape-crisis hotline worker I interviewed, meets the 11 survivors through her work and ties their stories together."The characters have faced different forms of sexual abuse - some obvious and well recognized forms of abuse like violent assaults or threats from strangers, or date rape - or more subtle abuse like marital rape whose abusers and victims alike often justify based on religious beliefs that subjugate women. Circle Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Reinhart says, "the breadth of Lauren's examination of sexual assault was one of the things that motivated us to produce her script. We believe this play will not only be powerful theatre, but will also deepen our audience's understanding of this societal problem that has only recently come to light in a big way." Amanda Jane Long, an actress who has played the title role in Sarah Ruhl's EURYDICE for BoHo Theatre, with whom she also has had roles in AMADEUS and VERONICA'S ROOM, will direct. Her cast will be led by author Lauren Powell as Reagan. Also in the 12-woman cast are Michelle Bester, Betsy Bowman, Marisa Eason, Rachel Livingston, Amy Powell, Tyler Reaser, Miriam Reuter, Jessica Rzucidlo, Ashley Stein and Nikkia Tyler. One role remains to be cast. Understudies are Deja Anderson-Ross and Chloe Dzielak.
Previews will be Friday, March 2 - Saturday, March 3 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, March 4 at 2:30 pm. Press opening is Wednesday, March 7th at 8:00 pm. The production will run through April 1 with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm and industry performances every Mondayduring the regular run at 8:00 pm. All performances will be in The Buena, Pride Arts Center, 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. Tickets are $28 and are on sale now at www.circletheatrechicago.org.