Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Princess Club

As part of our nine-year-anniversary celebrations last week we saw The Princess Club at Redmoon Theatre. I was darn excited about this show because, as the faithful reader knows, this insane princess-phenom terrifies me.

Redmoon's Princess Club - a collaborate creation by the director and actors - is an insightful look into the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the "princess" ideal. They tackle an incredibly wide range of issues of Girl Culture, from the virgin/whore image, the sweet/bitchy personality, the impact of dolls on young women, to the overwhelming pressure of body shape, conformity, and reliance on a successful marriage for true completion.

OMG! It was like they made a play just for ME!

The ensemble of five women created an incredibly physical play, and there is little dialogue - they primarily use a repetition of words and phrases like, "Seriously" and "You guys" that take on a variety of meanings. The severity of language reminded me of a my own awful years as a teenager, and the bizarre love/hate relationship I had with too many of my girl friends, the kinds of relationships that I try to avoid in my adult life, but I think a lot of women still run into - myself included. The characters in the play mock each other, gang up on each other, punish each other and less often vaguely praise and support each other.

They address issues of girl culture both old and new - using the plotlines of a variety of fairy tales as well as more contemporary examples - the Britneys and Lindsays who crack under the pressure to maintain a facade of perfection. It's hardly a wonder that the girls "go wild" in our culture of inconsistencies - be sexy! Stay pure! Attract a man! But don't be a slut! Be sweet, be pretty, be thin! But healthy!

One of the most wonderful things about The Princess Club is that the creators put so much faith in their audience. Widely open to interpretation (for example, whether the characters are dolls or women or actual princesses is up to you to decide) you can get as much out of this play as you put into it. And it's guaranteed to open a dialogue (or continue one, in the case of my family) on the challenges that face women and girls today.

through Oct. 7


mike said...

You guys!

Carrie said...

I love that this play is out there, but you told me it would be equal to a rated R movie. I wish there was more out there for middle school and high school girls (and boys) to see and perform. It is a little ironic that all the actresses in the picture are rail thin, though- or maybe that's just the point.

Special K said...

Well, these folks saw a story they wanted to tell and they created it themselves - it would be interesting to see younger people telling their own narratives, not allowing it to be created for them.

I agree about the thin actors, but they way they padded their bodies was really grotesque.

kbmulder said...

This play looks fascinating!! Thanks for sharing. Do you know how long it will be playing?

Special K said...

Oops, thanks for reminding me of that vital info, Kathy - Oct. 7 - if you come to see it, you are, as always, welcome to stay with us!

Kathy said...

sounds FABULOUS. I want to see it! Too bad I'm not flying through Chi-town on my way to Vancouver next week!