The Boston Globe: At the theater, furious rebuttals in the age of #MeToo
By Don Aucoin
4 April 2019
In a recent interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, author Rebecca Traister pointed to a large, gaping hole in the history books: Namely, that they have habitually minimized the intensity and the effectiveness of women’s anger as a force for social change.
“We’ve never been taught the story or given the view of women’s anger as politically potent,’’ said Traister, whose book “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger’’ was published last fall. “Women’s anger, even when it has existed, has often been covered over by the people telling the story of it.’’
At this moment, though, that story is being forcefully told on stages from Boston to Broadway. The anger of women, and their determination to fight back against the role of systemic misogyny in making them feel undervalued and unsafe in the world, has formed the basis of recent and current productions as different as Lyric Stage Company of Boston’s “The Little Foxes,’’ Sleeping Weazel’s “The Audacity: Women Speak,’’ Flat Earth Theatre’s “Not Medea,’’ Also Known As Theatre’s “Extremities,’’ and the riveting “What the Constitution Means to Me,’’ at New York’s Helen Hayes Theater.
Even generally lighthearted classics like Lerner & Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,’’ George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion’’ (from which “My Fair Lady’’ was adapted), and Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate’’ now resonate differently, having been tweaked by contemporary directors to emphasize the defiance of their incensed female protagonists and the legitimacy of their grievances.
Read the full critic’s notebook in The Boston Globe.
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