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Check Your 'Y' Chromosome at the Door

By Suzy Evans in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 4, 2009 9:15PM


We’ve come a long way since the days when women couldn’t vote or had to stay at home, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve come all the way. Theater has always been a pivotal instrument of social change, and the Goodman is using its instrument to celebrate and discuss women’s position in the theater with Taking the Stage: A Celebration of Women in Theater. The festival centers around the Goodman’s world premieres of Regina Taylor’s Magnolia and Naomi Iizuka’s Ghostwritten, and there are workshops, discussions, performances and more in theaters (and an odd number of wine bars) around Chicago. Almost all of the writers and directors are women - Shakespeare being one of the exceptions - and the works explore racial barriers, disability, child/parent relationships and many more subjects that affect everyone.

The festival runs through April 19, but some of the shows continue after the festival’s official close. We saw Magnolia, which is based on Chekhov’s brilliant but incredibly dense The Cherry Orchard, and it left us wanting more (in a good way). If all of the shows and events are anything like this one, there’s no question that this festival will bring relevant and important change to society and contemporary theater.

See full festival schedule and details here.

Roxanne Reese and Tyla Abercrumbie in Magnolia at the Goodman Theatre. Photo by Liz Lauren.