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Shotgun Players Presents VINEGAR TOM, Written By Caryl Churchill

If witches have so much power, then why are they always poverty-stricken? Vinegar Tom is a wild mash-up of desperate women living in 17th century society with modern musical numbers connecting the tale to our own troubled times. This is Churchill at her best: raw, satirical, political, and mad as hell! Vinegar Tom begins previews on Friday, December 6, 2019; opens on Friday, December 13, 2019; and runs through Sunday, January 5, 2020, at the Ashby Stage.

Director Ariel Craft thinks of Vinegar Tom as an opportunity to take in the long history that our society has with determining which women are the "wrong kind" of women - and condemning them. Commenting on the play, she says: "A witch is just a woman with power - it is a name, given by men who fear that power, to turn it into something wicked or forbidden. A witch is a scare tactic, a punishable offense, created to force women to feign smallness and docility. Unlike most witch-hunt parables, Vinegar Tom isn't about the dangers of unconscious groupthink, how easy it is to be swept up in a societal tide. It is about deliberate and cooly executed oppression, about seeing the delineation between equity and evil and choosing evil because you stand to benefit from it."

Vinegar Tom anachronistically pairs a contemporary musical score with a setting in 17th century England. Music Director Daniel Alley comments on the contrast, "The songs interspersed throughout Vinegar Tom exist entirely outside the period drama. This tension heightens the contradictions between the regulated, patriarchal world of the play and the freer world of the music, which is full of potential and possibility."

The cast of Vinegar Tom features Gabby Battista, Lyndsee Bell, Melanie DuPuy, Perry Fenton, Dov Hassan, Sam Jackson, Celia Maurice, Jennifer McGeorge, Sarah Mitchell, Sharon Shao, and Megan Trout. The creative team features musical direction by Daniel Alley, set design by Nina Ball, lighting design by Ray Oppenheimer, costume design by Brooke Jennings, sound engineering by Taylor Gonzalez, sound assistance by Dani Chapparro, stage management by Heather Kelly-Laws, production assistance by Liz Johnson, props design by Devon LaBelle, props assistance by Evan Favela, choreography by Natalie Greene, fight choreography by Dave Maier, and production assistance by Liz Johnson.

More at shotgunplayers.org/online/article/vinegar-tom.



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