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Sunday, March 12, 2017

LOPATE, BROAD DESIGNS, BROCKPORT, BARNES and NOBLE

Updates from Aphra Behn and the book tour of “UN/MASKED, Memoirs of aGuerrilla Girl On Tour

Late February was cold and snowy in Manhattan but the news that I would be interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show brought warmth. My fabulous indie publicist, Michelle Blankenship, accompanied me to the WNYC offices in lower Manhattan. 

With Michelle Blankenship
Armed with my rubber gorilla mask and a banana for Leonard I entered the studio. Lopate immediately took the banana from my hand and tried to talk into it. That put me right at ease. My 20 minute interview flew by. A great conversationalist, Lopate has the knack to flip topics as quickly as the GOP offers up changes to Obamacare. We talked not only on air but before and after the interview.


My favorite subjects were rubber masks, sticker campaigns and getting the opportunity to decry the current lack of plays by women on Broadway.  But do not despair as works by Paula Vogel and Lynn Nottage are coming soon.  Leonard doesn’t say goodbye – his producer has to come in and let him know time is up. Listen to my interview HERE

On the Leonard Lopate Show











February also brought me new friends from down under – the wonderful feminists of the Australian radio show on feminism and design - BROAD DESIGNS - broadcast on  JOY 94.9.  

Jane Connory and Sonja Hammer of BROAD DESIGNS
The funny and sharp (and mask wearing!) Jane Connory and Sonja Hammer talked with me via phone for a broadcast which aired on International Women’s Day.  LISTEN HERE: 

As some of you know, in my book I describe my journey to identifying as a feminist. It was a BOOK that brought me to feminism – “OurBodies, Ourselves” which I picked up at the Main Street Bookstore in Brockport New York, my sophomore year in college.  This week I was featured in the Brockport Alum spotlight. Read it here: 


If you have not been to a new Barnes and Noble lately check them out. Some of the new stores now have a very comfortable and welcoming area as you walk into the store where wine, beer, hot drinks and food are served. Settle down with a donut and a cup of joe as you flip through your favorite newspaper. I was the first author booked to read at the B & N inEastchester - or I should say their first writer who wrote for adults.  Thank you Barnes and Nobel for making your bookstore a place you can spend hours in.
UN/MASKED display at Barnes and Noble Eastchester 
NEXT! The IDES OF MARCH - Aphra Behn mails postcards to Trump and talks on the LIVING WELL SHOW, March 15, 2017.

I will be at Northern Arizona University with ACT LIKE AFEMINIST ARTIST on March 25 at 2PM.  – if you are in the area please attend.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Venus Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award


Deb Randall of Venus Theatre with Aphra Behn 

On February 7, 2017 Aphra Behn presented "Act Like a Feminist Artist" at Venus Theatre in Laurel, MD.  Venus awarded Aphra with their Lifetime Achievement Award. 


DC NOW was a co-sponsor of the evening.

Aphra made a short speech. 
Here is what she really wanted to say....

Dear Deb Randall and Venus Theatre,
I applaud you for keeping the voices of women alive for so many years. I salute your bravery in producing season after season of work by women. I admire your perseverance, your style, your grace. I acknowledge your struggle and the struggle of all the women who have gone before you and remain behind via the love that refuses to die. I promise to keep fighting, to keep enduring and to keep advocating on behalf of women in theatre.  We are theatre. We are.




THANK YOU VENUS

Monday, February 20, 2017

In case you missed it...

The past month in GUERRILLA news: live lectures, taped radio shows and sit down interviews. They go by in the blink of an eye and so we would like to post some of the past month's highlights for your listening and viewing pleasure. 

In no particular order they are:

ACT LIKE A FEMINIST ARTIST - Aphra Behn's talk coupled with readings from UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour was at the New York Society Library in January. View it here:






We had the pleasure of being introduced to two artists from the Blue Scarf Collective -  Sarah Klein, a filmaker and painter and Sherry Beth Sacks, a painter. 
The Blue Scarf Collective is a very cool collection of artists with this mission:  
We believe that art can and should be used to promote social justice, change, and empowerment — especially for the disenfranchised. We want to disrupt common misconceptions about feminism. We believe that the act of creating is the act of owning one's own experience. We like to get our hands dirty. 

Find the Guerrilla interview with Blue Scarf here: 





Early February brought snow to New York City but Rob Watson of RATED LGBT RADIO and his co-host, Bash, on OUT IN SANTA CRUZ warmed our hearts. 

LGBT Radio focuses on events impacting the Northern California community while OUT in SANTA CRUZ is a local talk show discussing views from the LGBTQ perspective.

LISTEN:




  
Last but not least here is Margot Cherrid's January interview (in FRENCH) on the tv5Monde feminist page, Terriennes! Les Guerrilla Girls à l’assaut d’un art « sexiste et dominé par les hommes blancs » - TV5MONDE ]





Aphra and Margot in London 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BITCH and BUST and Memoirs of A Guerrilla Girl On Tour


BITCH and BUST review "UN/MASKED" 

Happy V DAY Feminists!

We heart BITCH and BUST magazines for heartfelt reviews of "UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour"

Here is part of Allison McCarthy's review in the Chaos Issue (Jan 2017) of BITCH

UN/MASKED: MEMOIRS OF A GUERRILLA GIRLON TOUR by Donna Kaz
{Skyhorse Publishing}

"As a freshman in college, I saw a performance of the Guerrilla Girls on campus.
I remember the charge in the air among women’s studies undergrads sitting toe-to-toe
in the amphitheater as we listened to the impassioned language of these women—in
an effort to preserve anonymity, they all wore furry gorilla masks and used pseudonyms
drawn from female artists such as Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo, and Hannah Höch—
speaking on discrimination in the art world and their efforts to combat the lack of representation through direct action.

UN/MASKED: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour brought me back to the excitement and sense of possibility created that night, all through writer Donna Kaz’s vivid, unsparing recollections of her years (1995–2012) with the feminist activist and artist collective. Kaz applies in 1995 and learns the Guerrilla Girls are seeking “new and energetic members… who can bounce the Girls into a future where when people talk about art they also talk about gender parity for playwrights.” As a playwright in New York City, Kaz had learned about the group when a friend shared a copy of the book Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls. After several enthusiastic re-readings, Kaz imagines a new direction for the group that has taken the art world by storm with their statistics on the absurdly low representation of women and people of color in the Museum of Modern Art: “I envision an attack on sexism in the theatre world….What a coup it would be to name the theatres that do not produce women playwrights or plays by writers of color. How cool to prove bus companies are more inclusive in their hiring practices than
theatres are.”

For more visit BITCH Media

And BUST gave "UN/MASKED" a 5 Breast Review!  Here's a sneak look: 






For more of BUST click here 

GO BANANAS!  





Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review of UN/MASKED by Sarah Downs on The Front Row Center

It has been eleven weeks since Skyhorse published 

Thanks to everyone who has read the book and posted a review on Amazon or Goodreads!  If you are thinking of purchasing UN/MASKED, read what Sarah Downs wrote on THE FRONT ROW CENTER :


In a fresh, easy style (Kaz) leads us on her journey of discovery, loss and redemption.  With humor and a distinct lack of self-pity, she retells the history of a life on the verge, a career derailed, and ultimately one of success.  She is no weak sister.  Alternating scenes from her recent life as a writer with the story of her early years and her time in Hollywood, Kaz evokes the past and present at once, meeting herself in the middle.   We meet her as she is today – successful playwright and Guerrilla Girl, but also as she was as a naïve young woman searching for her unique identity.  When she turns from her own career to follow her man to Hollywood, Kaz loses herself, overshadowed by her glamorous, imposing lover with his outsize ego and outsize capacity for violence.  She sacrifices her own career as she is drawn into a life of domestic abuse, with its revolving door of beatings and passionate rapprochements.  It is only after she ‘escapes’ the prison of this destructive love affair that she rediscovers her love of writing and so reclaims her life.

Throughout this memoir, Kaz collapses the various layers of her life – thwarted actress, budding writer, latent activist, undiscovered feminist – to step out from behind the mask of her personal history.  She declares: I’m still here and I like it.  And I’m not going away.
*  Aphra Behn, 17th century British playwright, poet, translator and author.

Read the entire review here: http://thefrontrowcenter.com/2017/01/book-review-unmasked-memoirs-guerrilla-girl-tour/

If you subscribe to BITCH magazine you can read what Allison McCarthy said in the January Issue: - https://bitchmedia.org/issue/73



I will be posting photos of the Women's March NYC in the next few days.

- Aphra Behn, Guerrilla Girls On Tour


 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Donald Trump asks Guerrilla Girls On Tour to read a poem at his inauguration

Donald Trump risks being upstaged by over-acting theatre artists, Guerrilla Girls On Tour, but offered us the opportunity to read a poem on Friday, January 20th at his inauguration. As Steve Harvey says, when the president elect calls, you answer!  



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

REPORTS FROM THE FRONT

reading/book signing 
at NYU Bookstore
at Nassau Community College

It was raining hard on November 30th – the night of my book signing at the spacious NYU Bookstore in Greenwich Village, NYC.  November 30th was also the night of the Rockefeller Tree lighting, so the city streets looked like a parking lot – at least midtown did. Downtown was the place to be.


So many friendly faces showed up to the reading, I was inspired. I switched my readings up a bit – just had to read about my first theatre job in Soho for The Performance Group. My task was to run a wheel barrow with a police light and siren attached to it down Wooster Street for their production of COPS.  The simple wheelbarrow rig gave the audience the impression that a cop car had just pulled up outside.

My original Guerrilla Girl Mask 

At NYU Bookstore 
Yael, NYU events manager, set up a table of coffee and cookies next to a pile of books and added her own thoughtful questions after the reading. It had been just three weeks since the election and the Q and A again focused on what we, as concerned, angry and frightened citizens, can do in the coming months and years. I have to say the mourning period is over for me. It is time to take up the pen, the performance and the protest. As I shared that with the audience I saw many connect to my ideas and begin to formulate their own ways to start anew. As artists, we are truth tellers and are always the ones to stand up to falsehood and fakery.

In December I found myself on the LIRR bound for Garden City, about ten miles from where I grew up. I was presenting my talk/reading “Act Like a Feminist Artist” at Nassau Community College. Phyllis, head of cultural events at the college, had everything set up for me when I arrived and over 60 students attended, some in Guerrilla Girl T-shirts; others new to the concept of feminist masked avengers.

With GG fan Caroline, at Nassau Community College
It was an energetic hour with many great questions afterwards. On the train home I thought of how I was not accepted to Nassau Community College’s theatre department (I write about it in my book) and here I am some 40 years later, connecting with the NCC community in a very meaningful way. Some places take time to get to – I am glad and grateful my path has taken me so many places – and now it has led me back to where I belong.

December 2016




Thursday, December 15, 2016

SAVVY FEMINIST READERS GIFT LIST

The savvy reader’s favorite website BookFilter.com chooses the best theater books ready for wrapping and UN/MASKED made the list!

Hey, even Santa can’t get good seats to Hamilton! Luckily, there are plenty of other great options when searching for what to give the theater buffs in your life. We’ve rounded up some terrific new books and tossed in the best of the rest we covered throughout 2016. Consider your holiday shopping done! Luckily, that leaves you more time for reading, so what are you waiting for?






CLICK HERE TO ORDER


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review of "UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour" in MS MAGAZINE

Abuse and Empowerment: Donna Kaz’s “Un/Masked” Compels Us to Speak Up

November 30, 2016 by Marina Delvecchio

Donna Kaz’s Un/Masked: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl on Tour chronicles the birth of a feminist. Through a narrative spanning abuse, activism and her urgent struggle to solidify her place in theater, Kaz provides her readers with a dynamic storyline that keeps us turning the pages in search of empowerment—hers and ours.



Applying humor, candor, and in some places, the form that playwrights use when constructing scenes and dialogue, we see how the artistic mind finds solace and empowerment while navigating the trenches of love and abuse.

Kaz is in her early twenties when she meets Bill. Much older than her, and much more experienced in the nuances of relationships, in Bill we encounter a narcissist entrenched in his own self-worth. For the next three years, Kaz becomes the target of his unfettered rage when he feels insecure with his acting or his work.

Eventually, we’re propelled forward twenty years—the late 90’s—during which she becomes involved with the Guerrilla Girls, an activist group of feminists who wear gorilla masks and protest the male-dominated arena of the arts. Along with the gorilla masks, the women’s anonymity is further established when they each assume the moniker of a dead artist in a poetic attempt to represent and give voice to artists, poets, musicians and writers the male industry of the arts renders invisible. Kaz assumes the name of Aphra Behn, the first English female known to have made her living as a writer during the 1600’s. 



Concealed behind the gorilla mask and Aphra Behn’s name, Kaz finds a voice that refutes the secondary and silenced inferiority meant for female artists in an industry that produces plays, music, art and theater only created by men and only honoring men. The Guerrilla Girls spent their free time advocating for their rights to be artists, to produce their own work, to share with the world creative outlets that rest on female power and volition and to open doors for the next generation of female artists entering this very patriarchal and male-run platform of the arts.
Being a Guerrilla Girl and advocating for other women inevitably guarantees Kaz the courage she needed to also express the abuse she suffered at the hands of her intimate partner twenty years earlier. She not only named the abuse, but she also, finally, named her abuser, which cut him off entirely from her life, allowing her to move on, fall in love and marry and pursue her: 



Read more here