Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011

UWM Opens With Two Shows About Women

UWM Theatre Opens with A PIECE OF MY HEART and THE SINS OF SOR JUANA

By Russ Bickerstaff
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UWM Theatre stages a couple of shows this coming month written by female playwrights about women.

The UWM Theatre season begins with a studio theatre production as UWM Labworks stages A Piece of My Heart. Shirley Lauro'™s portrait of six women who served in Viet Nam. The women in question aren'™t exclusively soldiers . . . actually only one of them appears to be in anything resembling active duty. There are three nurses, one USO entertainer, one Red Cross worker and one intelligence officer. It can be staggeringly interesting getting the perspectives on history from those in its margins and this looks like a really interesting exploration. More than simply exploring the difficulties of life during wartime, the drama focuses on women at avery specific point in history in a way that points up certain universals  and recurring issues in the larger tapestry of human emotion.

A Piece of My Heart runs October 14th through 23rd at Kenilworth 508. For ticket reservations, call 414-229-4308

UWM'™s Mainstage season  opens with Karen Zacarias'™ The Sins of Sor Juana. It's a bio play . . . one of those that doesn'™t seem like it could possibly live-up to the towering legend of the main character once you'™ve become familiar with her. Evidently Sor Juana is considered to be one of the great historical intellects of Mexico. She'™s part of the fabric of cultural consciousness for the country.

Juana Ines de la Cruz de Asbaje y Ramirez lived in the second half of the 17th century. A highly intelligent, young woman, she wanted to study at university in an era when women weren'™t allowed to do so. She continued to study privately in Mexico City under the tutelage of a man who invited several learned men to ask her questions. Not allowed to study in advance, she made several important points on various scientific and literary subjects. Everybody present was kind of astonished. She was at the time, only 17. She became quite famous for her work . . . and promptly started talking about the mportance of gender equality. As one could imagine for a woman living in the 17th century, this did NOT end well for her. She did end up on the 200 pesos bill, though. History has remembered her quite well. Octavio Paz wrote a book about her. Several years back, Zacharias' drama about Juana debuted. A production of the drama was recently staged at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. The UWM production is being directed by talented local actress and UWM Acting lecturer Jenny Wanasek.

UWM'™s production of The Sins of Sor Juana runs October 19th -“ 23rd at UWM's Mainstage Theatre. For ticket reservations, call 414-229-4308.

 

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