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Review: Raleigh Little Theatre's Timely REVOLUTIONISTS Feels Like the Right Story for Right Now

Review: Raleigh Little Theatre's Timely REVOLUTIONISTS Feels Like the Right Story for Right Now

Earlier this year, I interviewed Mo Gaffney in advance of the opening of PARALLEL LIVES at The Women's Theatre Festival. When I asked Gaffney, who is not only an actress and writer, but also a devout activist, what she hoped the takeaway of her play was for audiences, she said, "women are funny, number one, and feminists are funny, number two."

Last weekend, Lauren Gunderson's THE REVOLUTIONISTS opened at Raleigh Little Theatre, proving once again that women and feminists can be very funny.

THE REVOLUTIONISTS tells the story of four women during the French Revolution: Marie Antoinette, an "occasionally, unexpectedly profound queen who needs better press," Olympe de Gouges, the feminist playwright who published her "Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the [Female] Citizen" in 1791, Charlotte Corday, "an assassin on a deadline," and Marianne Angelle, a Caribbean slave who has come to France to rally for her people's freedom.

The four unlikely allies come together in Olympe de Gouges study, each with an agenda, each with a compelling story to tell.

Under the direction of Amy White, the capable cast of four women seem more comfortable with the quick-witted, comedic elements of Gunderson's smart script than the dramatic ones that mark the second act. Still, in the last moments of the play, the quartet come together in a display of sisterhood, solidarity, and strength, which is at the heart of this play, that is ultimately believable and poignant.

Considering the play opened at the end of a news cycle wherein Bill Cosby was sentenced to prison for sexual assault and Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gunderson's timely and thought-provoking tragicomedy feels like the right story for right now and a fitting piece for Raleigh Little Theatre's "Acts of Courage" season.

THE REVOLUTIONISTS runs through October 14th at Raleigh Little Theatre. In conjunction with the play, Raleigh Little Theatre will host the "Eyes Up Comedy Show" drawing on the theme of "Lost My Head" on October 6th. For more information visit: https://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/the-revolutionists/.



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From This Author - Lauren Van Hemert

Lauren Van Hemert is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, where she majored in Journalism with a minor in Theater. Prior to graduation, Van Hemert hosted her own weekly talk show on Public... (read more about this author)