Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More New Year’s Resolutions

Gracie Allen

In 2009 I will make as much fun of the Democrats as I did of the Republicans, it is only fair!
I will stop and enjoy the fact that right now things could really get better.
I will try to point out the rights that we, as women, have lost over the last 8 years in the hopes we can get them back!
I will laugh with my GGOT friends!

Happy New Year!

“…the real hope for the future of feminism: the sustained creation of communities of support, the continued bonds of sisterhood, and the never ending symbiosis between the personal and the political.”
-Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008)
© 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Guerrilla Girls On Tour's 2009 Resolutions

Aphra Behn:

In 2009 I will volunteer more
I will write another controversial theatre piece and
I will ask President Obama to create an Office For Women

Anne Sexton:

In 2009 I will collaborate and nurture other female artists, working to form a feminist community of artists where competition does not exist.
I will complete one or two masterpieces.
I will fall in love with my craft again.

Edith Evans:

In 2009 I will work as much as possible.
I will learn how to make eggnog and
I will learn the herstory of a part of the world I am not familiar with.

Happy New Year!

“…the real hope for the future of feminism: the sustained creation of communities of support, the continued bonds of sisterhood, and the never ending symbiosis between the personal and the political.”
-Emma Bee Bernstein (1985-2008)
© 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Real Eva Le Gallienne

After reading Aphra’s post of ‘who she is’, I thought I’d share a few lines about who Eva Le Gallienne is. As Aphra stated, Eva is my Guerrilla Girls On Tour name- so the following is true of the woman behind the mask: Like the real Eva, I am an out lesbian [and proud of it!] I am a survivor of rape, sexual and psychological abuse. This happened while I was married to my abuser. Yes: You can be raped by your husband. My first activist act was standing up to a corporation who wanted to build a cell phone and radio tower close to my home, when I was living in a small town in NJ. WE WON! After that, it was the [s]election of GW Bush in 2000 that motivated me to become a full-time activist-artist and travel around the country speaking out against the administration and the war. I hope to be an agent of change in this new era of Obama- both with and without my mask.

In Solidarity,
© 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Real Aphra Behn

Bill Ayers recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about who he really is. This got me thinking about who I really am. After all Aphra Behn is my identity as a Guerrilla Girl On Tour but it’s not my real name. Some people may think that being anonymous is a way to hide and that I should cast off my mask and my pseudonym and celebrate the woman that I am. In keeping with the holiday spirit let me celebrate myself as Aphra Behn by sharing with you the following facts: I was born a feminist and an activist. My first protest was a rally at my High School against the Vietnam War. I have been a member of Catholics for a Free Choice and I have participated in numerous pro-choice rallies some of which involved acts of civil disobedience. Some of these I am proud of and some I am not. I am a survivor of domestic violence and have actively worked in the violence against women movement for over 20 years. As a member of Guerrilla Girls and Guerrilla Girls On Tour I have carried out acts of vandalism, though none to the extent of the Weather Underground. As a waitress in New York City in the early 80’s I worked with a fellow waitress named Bernadine Dorn, the former Underground member, who I very much admired. I agree with Bill Ayers that “talking and listening to the widest range of people is not a sin, but a virtue” and I hope that I can continue this journey as Aphra for a very long time.

- Aphra Behn
© 2008

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Monday, November 24, 2008

More China Stories

November 10-16,2008

Eva here. WOW four days back in NYC and I am still amazed I was just in China! What a whirlwind trip, what and incredible experience, what a massive city; Shanghai is home to 20 million people! Where to begin? Having just read Edith’s post, I will not give a play-by-play. I will share however my personal story of a Shanghai experience that included:

1) As a [mostly] vegetarian, I had prepared to be ‘open’ regarding food. I have no idea that I would eat sea snails, various unidentifiable parts of octopus, pork, lamb and ‘meat’.

2) I was pick-pocketed on the Bund on our last night and had my credit card, ATM card and license stolen, along with some cash. Passport was safe… phew!

3) I haggled for a silk scroll on the streets

4) Went to a gorgeous Taoist temple

5) Wandered back allies where poverty and poor living conditions were beyond what simple words can express.

6) Performed feminist street theater in a police state…

…perhaps not such a ‘typical experience’, but all just a day in the life of a Guerrilla Girl on Tour!I left for China EARLY Monday morning the 10th of November. I brought the following with me around the globe:

As a [mostly] vegetarian, I had prepared to be ‘open’ regarding food. I had no idea that I would eat sea snails, various unidentifiable parts of octopus, pork, lamb and ‘meat’. It seems that most Chinese people eat according to Chinese medicine principles, so the idea of not eating the foods prescribed for a season is pretty ‘foreign’. There was no way to eat with groups of people and not consume animal products…. So I dug in… OH and beware next time you are in China, the ‘vegetable dumplings’ may just have pork in them !

After reading and hearing about the poverty in China, I knew I might see some things that were disturbing. I vowed to carry compassion in my heart and be realistic in my sensitivities. On Saturday, after the performing part of the journey was over, Edith and I went wandering through back allies in Old Shanghai. Poverty and poor living conditions were beyond what simple words can express. As I strolled past housing complexes that were home to eight or more families sharing one bathroom and kitchen and seeing that a bathroom/ kitchen might consist of a hose, several plastic basins, a hot plate and a hole in the ground, I also realized that life in other parts of this country were worse still. I carry these memories with me now and am still sorting out my emotional reactions to what I have seen.

On the day we performed our piece ‘Silence is Violence’ all over the city [in parks, on streets, in malls] the press was everywhere and always wanted to chat! One particular question prompted me to share what I was bringing to the piece. I thought for a moment and realized that even in China, I bring to this work every story I have heard, witnessed, experienced of violence against women. As we performed, I gathered more observations to take with me on the road. Several times over the course of the day, a couple would show up and begin to watch. One of us would extend a flyer to the woman, the man would grab it and once he read it would drag her away. The flyer contained only simple statistics and information regarding domestic violence in China, yet this seemed threatening to many of the men in the crowds. Of course, and in all fairness, many men, and women, completely embraced the message and our presence in their communities!

When leaving for this trip, friends and family members were a little worried. After all I was going to a country where political, feminist street theater might not be readily accepted by authorities. However, we were brought to Shanghai by the Zendi MoMA and were assured that they would take good care of us. That is exactly how it happened! We were chauffeured around on the city on the day of the events, photographed, video taped and protected every step of the way. We were part of a team, part of a vision, part of an international arts community and I thank all the organizers for doing a brilliant job!

Thanks for reading!
Love, Eva Le Gallienne

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


November 10-11, 2008
Shanghai, China

Shanghai! Such an adventure! First of all, I stayed up all night. I had to be across town at Aphra's by 3:45 AM. I left my abode at 3:15, hailed a cab, and arrived at my destination by 3:18. No traffic. I sat in the lobby until Aphra came downstairs and we headed for the airport together. We were to meet Eva Le Gallienne there and Coco Chanel at our stopover in Atlanta.

It was a very, very, very long flight.

Left on a Monday and arrived on Tuesday at 5PM. We met Zendai MOMa’s curatorial assistant, Hu Yun, at our hotel in the Pudong district of Shanghai. What a lovely young man. He checked us in and we made arrangements to meet the next day and go over the plan for our performance piece. Eager to get a first glimpse of the city we thought we'd stroll to the river, see the view and get a bite to eat but unfortunately the darkness overcame our enthusiasm and we couldn't even guess the way. We discovered every corner had a street map but they were in Chinese which was, of course, no help to us at all. We settled for the plaza across the street from our hotel which turned out to hold a lovely Chinese restaurant where I promptly embarrassed myself by ordering in English sending the waitress running. In the weeks leading up to the trip everyone was telling me how divine the food was going to be and this meal was quite satisfying. We then went into a gianormous supermarket called Carrefour for water and then home to bed.

November 12, 2008

Up we got – early! We were promised a Chinese breakfast and we got one. Yum. We attempted to walk to a park before our meeting but by the time we got there we had to change course and proceed to the museum. Aphra promised we would return and we did later when we went back to rehearse. We slowly made our way down one of those winding staircases to the MOMa staff offices. Hu Yun gave us a brief overview of Intrude Art and Life 366 and together we made plans to tour the selected sites of our street performance on Friday. We met more staff and then sat down for a press interview via the internet. I typed for everyone. Technology wise I'm such a dunce, it was fun to feel so useful and accomplished. ;). We left to rehearse in the park - it was a gorgeous day only flawed by the occasional threat of being run over by cars, mopeds, bikes and staining our pants with the fallen berries on the ground. (Street theater, you know).

FYI, invoice or receipt in Chinese sounds like this: "fapiaow". Along with “hello” and “Thank you” these are the only words I can speak in Chinese.

We met up for drinks with a vivacious student of Chinese culture that Aphra met on Some of her friends joined us and we all spoke English talking mostly about Obama. He's just the man, isn't he? In China too.

Next up was dinner with MOMa curator Biljana, Hu Yun, and Su Ye the location scout. I enjoyed myself immensely. So much vegetarian food, I should travel to China more often. The vegetables were everywhere. The beans were everywhere. Even where you least expect it, ask what's in it, and there's beans figuring in there somewhere. Yum! Now, what did we talk about? I think it came up that there are a lot of men making art in China. There are a lot of men making performance art in China, and there are a lot of shows with no female artists. The women all go to art school but get discouraged and give up shortly after they graduate. Sounds familiar? At least there is one female curator in Shanghai. Afterwards we head to Mural Bar where we do a short promo (translated by Su Ye) of our event. “From the East Coast to the West…” has now circled the globe. Chinese beer and good times follow. (Along with dancing with Eva Le Gallienne)

November 13, 2008

Again with the fabulous breakfast. (In China I tend to speak with a Jewish accent.) We met Hu Yun somewhere, or maybe he came to us, no matter, we got to ride in the metro. It was really sci-fi and cool. And it was so silent. That's one thing I'm really noticing in New York as I get older, the subways are so loud, especially the 'C' line. I have to wear those little ear plugs if I'm down there too long – such a nuisance! Not so in China. We got off in a place in the western part of Shanghai, and walked a bit to get to the shopping mall where we will perform at 6PM on the 14th. I liked the walk. This area had a different character than the Pudong, more people selling and cooking on the street and laundry hanging about everywhere. The site was perfect. You're going to read that a lot. All the sites were really perfect. Technically it was outdoors but it was the inside ring of the mall. There was also a nice fountain, a slightly elevated walkway, and a circular area to choose from. Like I said, poifect. Second sight was a park with a little stage, a pond behind us with a bridge, (where we witnessed someone fishing and getting whisked away by security), and a pretty open walkway/plaza type area. Again, lots to choose from and a busy intersection. That would be our 12 noon site. The third was another park but more near where people come out of the subway. Very plaza like, and wide open - the 9AM site. Good vibe as well. We were so pleased and excited about our sites. Apparently the museum had to get permission from the government for us to perform at all the sites and that was quite an ordeal.

Next, we split up, Hu Yun to go back to work and we to go sight seeing. We decide to go to the open air food market near old town.

The market is very big. A bit of an odor to it. Some veggies, some chickens and ducks, jumping fish and boxes of snakes – everything fresh as can be because it’s all alive! We witnessed one snake trying to escape but the snake wrangler came by and tossed it back in its box. Be grateful you are not a snake in China.

Jet lag hits us hard in the afternoon. We attempt to rehearse a bit back at the hotel. It didn't work. We were too tired. We all fell asleep on one bed and Aphra shook us all awake and told us to meet at 7AM at Starbucks for our big day. Thank you in Chinese sounds like this: "sheh sheh"

November 14, 2008

The most exciting day. We started off rehearsing in the plaza by the museum and people came around and watched. I think that was the most distance we had from our audiences all day. The first site was really busy – it was a little before 9am and everyone was out in the park doing Tai Chi! There was a lot of press and photographers standing around waiting for “Silence Is Violence”. And a poet had painted a poem in water on the plaza. We chose to perform in between the verses. As soon as we began we knew we were in a different country. People came right up to us…I mean right up to us…nose to nose almost. They were literally standing right next to me and looking at me and taking it in as if I were a sculpture. There was great curiosity in the way the audience observed us. Even though they were so close, you knew they weren't going to poke you or push you, it was how they wanted to watch and interpret. The response after was interesting. I was particularly fond of an older woman, whom I couldn't understand and no one could interpret because she was from the country, but she was enthusiastic and excited about the performance piece and was holding up her domestic violence postcard and made the peace sign so I think it was a positive experience for her. For me, it was a very emotional experience. I didn't expect to feel so much during the piece itself. But the poses are held for so long and I think the physicality of it, the intensity and tenseness of it got to me. The emotionality of the performance got more intense and deeper through the thirty second poses instead of getting easier. Then each pose built on the next one until the end when the tension breaks. It was hard to walk away from it. (NOTE: “Silence Is Violence” was performed by three GGOTs who each held a 30 second pose depicting a woman who started in a violent situation and ended in recovery. The entire piece lasted 10 minutes and each pose was performed in staggered starts by the performers. To the side one GGOT passed out postcards containing information and resources about domestic violence in China.)

The next performance was also in a park but a little later in the day. People here watched more from a distance and I felt they had a slightly challenging attitude towards us. I was handing out postcards and had to go after people and hand them to them. A group of women came late and missed the piece so we did it again, in a slightly different location, a little more into lunch hour, and the audience was again very different. They were more aggressive about surrounding the performers and taking postcards on their own. Eva, Coco, and Aphra really felt the difference of the two audiences - I'll have to read what they say. I also found my new boyfriend. A little boy, who was too shy to get close to me but from a distance was really comfortable exchanging facial expressions. Lots of children in these parks. Good fun.

Please in Chinese sounds like this: "tchien"

We then went to have a fabulous lunch. As Eva said – “spicy, with lots of flavor”. Then onto performance #4. This time the public walked right through us - people, dogs, and children all so close to us as we posed. It was so fascinating. I felt like every little thing I did was being observed – from the breathing to the little finger motion to the shift of weight on foot. It almost made it feel like slow motion or something. Then unfortunately a man was watching us so intently he drove his bike into a moving scooter and crashed. A huge argument ensued. Thank goodness we had just finished. Oops.

The shopping mall was next – performance #5. We had a little break so we had coffee/tea and our entourage – our videographer, photographer, Su Ye and Hu Yun all went off for smokes. I had a hard time getting a sense of the shopping mall performance. I think this is the one where Aphra said there were a lot of couples and the men very specifically took the postcards even though his female partner was trying to reach out. Again, people came up very close as if they were just passing through our performance to the next event in their lives.

The last performance was back at the plaza in front of Zendai. It was night and somewhat dark and, yes, a crowd gathered and stood really close. It's a very absorbing piece to be performing in. I have no idea what's going on and I'm really alert at the same time. I think overall it did have an impact -- many people watched and made opinions about street theater, women, China, America, artists, and domestic violence, and public art. A really intense day.

For dinner we had fries and beer, and I slept really well that night.

November 15-16, 2008

Hello in Chinese sounds like this: "knee how"

Touristing. Shanghai Museum, and a really great walk through the unknown territory of Old Town. I won't say much, you'll have to go yourself, and go soon as they are renovating the entire city. You don't want to miss seeing this part of their history. I will mention walking through a small street and I'm pretty sure we were the only tourists there and a young man on a bike screamed out to me "Obama!" (I had a pin on my bag.) I said "yes" and he said again "Obama Good!" And we both smiled. Obama good. Shanghai good. Eliminating domestic violence very good.

Yours truly,

Edith Evans
November 17, 2008
New York City

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Silence Is Violence" Shanghai

We performed our street theatre version of “Silence Is Violence” 7 times around Shanghai yesterday and distributed over 500 postcards containing resources for women and domestic violence. It was exhausting, exhilarating and inspiring. Our performance locations were several parks, a shopping mall and a city street near several galleries. The people of China were all intrigued by our performances and by the end of each showing of our 10 minute piece a crowd had gathered around us. While three of us performed one distributed the post card and most people were eager to take the materials we were handing out. A large amount of press arrived for our first performance and there was great interest from the media. In the end, Coco, Edith and Eva all agreed that it was a unique experience and humbling day for us. Thanks to Hu Yun and the team who accompanied us around the city from Zendai Moma. Here are some photos of our day.

- Aphra Behn
© 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shanghai Day One Update

Hu Yun, curatorial assistant at Zendai MOMa helps Edith Evans, (seated) with Eva Le Gallienne (left) and Coco Chanel (right) as they are interviewed on line by Shanghai Daily.

Check out for details of our street theatre piece "Silence Is Violence" on Friday, November 14th in Shanghai

- Aphra Behn

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


After getting up at 3AM to catch a 6AM flight to Atlanta, Eva, Edith and I were looking pretty sleepy when we met Coco Chanel at the Atlanta airport. She, of course, looked fabulous, tan and has taken on a bit of a southern twang now that she lives in the south.. We boarded our 11am flight to Shanghai and 17 hours later looked even worse than when we started. Our new Shanghai friend, Jocelyn, arranged for us to be picked up by a courteous and totally non English speaking driver and 30 minutes later we were in our hotel in the Pudong district…kind of like what Tribeca was years ago except it has tons of strip malls on every corner…so I guess it’s more like LA was years ago. Our host, Hu Yun meets us in the lobby and gives us our room keys and Eva immediately drops on her bed falling fast asleep. Edith, Coco and I want to take a walk around and end up in the largest supermarket I’ve ever seen where we gaze at the cute packaging on the juices and green iced tea bottles, drawing curious looks from the locals. We head into a well lit restaurant with an English menu and feast on bok choy, fried noodles and wonton soup with prawn dumplings….delicious. Oh and a couple of Xhing Tao’s to wash it all down. Then off to sweet dreams of the days ahead and our street performance piece “Silence Is Violence”. Thank goddess for Ambien.

Aphra Behn
Shanghai, China
© 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Now that the election is over we can get back to more important issues like sexism in the New York City theatre scene. I recently saw “Boy’s Life” by Howard Korder at Second Stage. This was a play about three men, well boy’s I guess, who were liars, adulterers and date rapists. The silver haired audience yuked it up behind me while I sat stunned in the third row. Question: What does a play where a guy admits to having sex with his date after she passed out do? Answer: It makes us sick. Now that’s definitely not why I attend the theatre. Last night saw “All My Sons”, the sold out smash hit on Broadway that boasts a completely fresh eye from director Simon McBurney. It was over acted, melodramatic and was basically a play about a sound design. I won’t even go into what I thought about the revival of “The Seagull” except to say it was a big snoozorama. In short, my take on the fall season is that we desperately need a dose of “other” voices both writers and directors on the NY city stage. I hope that some good will come of the big pow wow last month at New Dramatists where the lack of parity for female playwrights was the point of discussion with notable local artistic directors. As I toss my Playbills in the trash this morning I chant my mantra: More Broads on Broadway.
-Aphra Behn
© 2008

PS Off to China tomorrow…stay tuned for photos and reports from the front!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How Sweet It Is!

It is now November 6th, and I guess I've been waiting to put my thoughts down because I have been walking around in a daze since the results came in Tuesday night. I was afraid to go to sleep for fear that I would wake up and find that either it was all a dream or the results had somehow changed as they did with Gore.

I am so proud of the voters of this country. I spent election night with a small group of close friends, all of us so afraid to get our hopes afraid that it was too good to be afraid that this election would somehow be stolen once again. When it became clear that an Obama landslide was indeed happening, we all ran onto the balcony cheering, laughing, chanting, crying, hugging, dancing and were joined by people across the street on their balconies and pedestrians walking by and cars honking, bells ringing, amazing euphoria.

For the first time in a long time, I have hope for this country. I am filled with a sense of possibilities to unfold. Equality and justice for all seems to actually be in reach.

We have made history, and how wonderful it feels!

-Dorothy Parker
© 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I woke up this morning with a funny feeling and I realized it was happiness. Is this what it felt like for the people of Germany when the Berlin wall came down? It is a good feeling.

Hope was in the air yesterday when I went to vote…long lines, excitement. Could this really be happening?

On the way to vote I passed a Catholic school. The 8th graders were out for recess. They were cheering and clapping for people going to and from voting. They would ask “did you vote for Obama?” and when they go a yes they high-fived each other and cheered. I thought- this is something, I want this to happen for those kids. I want that enthusiasm and hope rewarded. The future voters deserve this as much as the current voters.

But would it happen? I voted I got a tear in my eye; I walked by the kids and got high- fived. I got another tear in my eye.

Many years ago I was a Catholic school kid cheering people on to vote and then Reagan won. I didn’t understand. I remember seeing all the old Republicans cheering, wearing weird straw hats and red white and blue vests. I was so disappointed.

I’m happy to know that this year’s group of Catholic school kids got their wish. And I suppose the little school kid inside me finally got what she wanted too.

Thank you Americans.

Gracie Allen
© 2008

Dear President-Elect

Congratulations. Guerrilla Girls On Tour takes partial credit for your being elected the 44th President of the United States.

You see we are a touring theatre company that humorously addresses issues that effect women. For the past 8 years we’ve been hitting President Bush hard on his anti-woman policies and more recently we’ve worked on skits and songs about John McCain’s 97% anti-choice voting record. We urged our audiences to Vote Obama! OK, so we did do a bit about you and Hillary acting out a scene from “Waiting For Godot” which was very funny. But we promise that we’ll only use you in our future shows if you need to be reminded that women need access to health care, reproductive rights, protection against violence and discrimination, and pay equity. I am certain that you won’t forget us.

In closing we are inspired by your promise to work for change, to lift up those who are still disenfranchised and to make our country once again great for all women and men.

Good luck and Goddess speed.

Guerrilla Girls On Tour!
© 2008


Election day is done. A conclusion has been reached. It is a good one. I started the day reading a quote on a daily website of Lake District photos, saying how men and women win elections more for who we vote against then who we vote for. It reminded me of how aware the world is that the Americans were at the polls and that this time around there was someone to vote for. And that made all the difference.

My favorite photo of the day was my Republican (from Ohio) friends' photo of himself casting his vote for Democrat Barack Obama - though I'm not sure he should have photo'd in the booth.

I came across one person who didn't vote. Tsk. Tsk. And, really.

I didn't partake in the freebies, but I didn't poo-poo either. Yesterday definitely had an air of the festive with people on the streets going off to parties and bars well into the night. Let it rock on, I say, and good stuff.

The longest wait to vote I heard - one and a half hours. (Just after 9 AM.)

I am disappointed in the passing of bans to gay marriage.

I applaud South Dakota for again supporting a woman's right to choose.

Congratulations to Beverly Perdue, North Carolina's first female Governor.

I thought the president-elect's victory speech had a delightful ring of Shakespeare's Henry V.

I am really looking forward to such an intelligent, articulate President. I have complete confidence in his ability to lead us through such a difficult time. And I am sad that at such a glorious time in his life, there is also such grief.

Well done America!

Edith Evans
© 2008

My Vote Mattered

Last night, I asked my roommate if he voted. I thought it would be nice for us to watch the results together. His response was SHOCKING. He did NOT vote. He was not even registered! "It's just not my thing", he said. What?!? What?!? I literally saw spots. I couldn't even bare to look at him. "It's not your thing?" I said. "I just doesn't seem that important. He's already going to win. My vote doesn't matter." I immediately went into my speech....

"We, as black people, as American's, must always exercise our right to vote. We were granted voting rights in the 1860's, but it was not until 1965, when Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, that we were actually allowed to vote. For one hundred years we were threatened, murdered, and taxed to keep us from polls. Literacy tests were created to stop us from having a voice. We fought dogs, and fire hoses! And you, a black man, on the brink of the most important election in history, are not going to exercise the right that our people fought so hard for? (FYI, I have a similar speech for women who don't vote)?"

Well, he said nothing. Just continued to take out the trash. He probably thinks I'm crazy. I don't really care. I just don't understand how anyone would not want to be a part of history. Oh well! We won without him!

Josephine Baker

Thank you, America

I am crying tears of joy. Barack Obama is the next president of the USA. I am proud of my country for the first time in a long while. I sit here breathing in history. It is a new era. I can say to my children that they can be anything they want to be and really mean it now. New possibilities are opening. The dawning of a new America is here, one that is embracing of differences, that is open to change, that is willing to grow. I await tomorrow with a new sense of hope and possibility. Thank you, America.

Fanny Brice
© 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Street Where I Lived

I grew up on a racially charged street where the blacks lived on one side and the whites on the other. I remember being around 7 years old and having a girl friend that I could talk to only with the fence that enclosed our front yard between us. It wasn’t acceptable for either of us to cross that fence. But sometimes it happened. One day the woman who lived directly across from us came over and asked my mother if she could use our phone. I remember that my mother helped her find the number she needed to dial. It wasn’t hatred that divided my street, it was more like confusion. As a child I was expected to act a certain way that didn’t feel right. Yet, everyone on the street at one time or another smiled at each other and said hello. We just did not mingle beyond that. Today as I cast my vote for Obama I thought of my old street. If I went back I would not find it the same, I am sure of that. I might be able to recognize some patch of it, some small broken down fence, perhaps. But for the most part my old street is far away and gone.

-Aphra Behn
© 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Fellow Feminists

Going to Pittsburgh, I felt the pressure of the election; being that it is so close to the voting date. Obama's and McCain's supporters are everywhere, everywhere, everywhere! You can tell the Pittsburgh/Washington community is torn between the two political parties. I saw the McCain and Obama campaign signs all over Washington Jefferson College campus and surrounding areas. However, our message to vote was only heard by a moderate-sized audience when we performed "Feminists are Funny". I hope our message was clear and that they will vote... for Obama. ; )
I really want Obama to win. I just can't deal with another Republican President; someone who doesn't care about poor and middle class issues, health insurance coverage, affordable education, and unemployment. Everyday I read in the news that people are losing their jobs and homes. It's enough to make me lose my mind. That's why if Obama doesn't win, I vow I am moving to Toronto sometime next year. Sorry people, but that's what I have to do, since citizens of this country are not listening to the truth of the matter; and the truth of the matter is McCain can afford to lose one of his seven houses, whereas I just need a place to sleep! I'll be moving to a country where I can get free education, free health coverage, and more job opportunities. I can honestly say I have tried to be a force for change; from protesting against the war in Iraq, to writing our Senators and congressmen and women about issues of concern to me. I feel sad as I write this, because I don't know what is going to happen come Nov 4th. All I know is, it's time for change!!!!

Frances Harper

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I recently was part of a conversation at a bar with a group of people from another country. One of the men at the table said "Wouldn't it be funny if Palin wins. She would run the country like a house. You'll eat your veggies and take your higher taxes and endless wars and you will like it! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!” Needless to say I turned a couple of different colors.

Here are the answers that ran through my head:

1. How dare you. I don't know what goes on in your country, but in America, women don't have to run houses we can do what ever we want!!! (Not that there is anything wrong with running houses.)

2. Yeah buddy, well, I hate her for turning the conversation from Hillary Clinton, a capable leader, to lipstick and shopping sprees at expensive clothing stores.

3. I can’t say I hate her 'cause then it looks like I am a self hating woman. I love women. We can do anything.

4. AGGGGGGGGHHHHHH. (this one was accompanied with me bashing his head with a beer bottle and then taking his wallet and running)

So what did I say? Nothing. By the time I had picked which option to say the conversation had moved on.

I wonder what would have happened if I said what I thought.

Good night,
Gracie Allen
PS don't forget to vote
for Obama

The Home Stretch

Just read in the NY Times that conservatives see Sarah Palin’s future as very rosy. Even if she is not elected they will make a push for her as the presidential nominee in 2012. Guess my wish that she go away on November 5th will not happen. As a feminist theatre artist I stopped all male-bashing in my work as soon as Guerrilla Girls On Tour split from Guerrilla Girls in 2001. I find the prospect of continually confronting the conservative agenda in the form of Sarah Palin disheartening. Sure, she’s fodder for comedy but it is not very funny when some can‘t see the joke. How will the conservatives repair all the damage she herself has done to her image? We can only wait. Onwards, to the battle ground state of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh for our last tour stop before the election.

Aphra Behn
October 29, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

This Shilly-Shallying is Absurd!

I interrupted my evening of revisiting my lines from "The Important of Being Ernest" to watch the third Presidential debate. Even though I won't be voting (because I’m dead) I do like to keep up with these things. The Senator from Illinois' name is Barack Obama and his wife's name is Michelle Obama. If you don't know, even at this stage, it's better to ask than remain ignorant.


I wonder where they got those lovely water glasses?

Troops to Teachers - Just because it employs triple alliteration doesn't make it a good idea. (PTSD + children? See where I'm going with this?) I do want to add that even though Senator McCain said "with no evaluations or certification" - the site does work to get the soldier’s certificate, qualifications and licenses - which makes me feel a little better.)

I learned a new phrase "The Great Society." (I am not originally from this country.)

At least no one talked about cutting funds to the Arts when talking about trimming corners.

The only Joe I want any follow up on is Senator Joe Biden.



My favorite quote:

Senator Obama - "I don't think America's youth is a special interest group."

Well the kettle is boiling, so I must be off. I think a nice oolong ought to pick me up.

As always,

Edith Evans

P.S. Please excuse my previous blog where I misspelled traveled as traveled. Thank you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I’ve got a headache…give me a third term abortion

In the third and final (thank goddess) debate, John McCain addressed the issue of abortion. He used his fingers to put quotes around the words -- health of the mother -- stating emphatically that the “ ‘health of the mother’ is stretched by pro-abortionists to mean just about anything.” Just about anything? Just about ANYTHING? Are you saying that a pregnant woman with a whopper of a head ache in her third trimester would seriously consider Advil, acupuncture and abortion on the same list of remedies? What a sexist insult. My health and the health of every women in America, including during pregnancy, should be a concern for anyone running for president. It does not belong between McCain’s or anyone elses fingers. Senator McCain, I “think” you just “threw away” all those “Hillary” votes you were “counting” on.

-Aphra Behn

Monday, October 13, 2008


This is just a little game I play with myself when I have to get something off my chest. If I were alive today, would I have this person over for tea???

Why I hate her:

She kills animals
She hunts animals
She is not well traveled (abroad)
She promotes ordinariness in government leaders
She is good at American rhetoric (see above)
My 'intelligent' Republican friends have researched their asses off to find a way to come out in support of her
She's not Hillary Clinton
She's not Tina Fey
She's not even Margaret Thatcher

Why I like her:

She's ambitious

So, no, no, no, I would not have her over for tea, I would not offer her a scone, I would not offer her a biscuit. I wouldn't wet one tea leaf in my house or dressing room for her.

Drinking alone,
Edith Evans

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Michigan Accomplished!

Our Michigan tour was great! It was one of my favorite tours so far. I wasn't really sure, at first, how we would be greeted. I was a bit worried that we would be met with a bunch of McCain lovin', women haters. But, to my relief, they loved us! They stayed with us throughout the entire show. And we received a standing ovation in the end.

I have to admit, I was a little tired in the beginning, and kept losing my place. How humiliating, right? My pages were mixed up and everything! Luckily, Aphra was there to refocus me. But, by the Sarah Palin section, I was fully re energized, and going strong. I had so much fun. The audience laughed, and clapped along with us.

After the show, during our Q & A, an audience woman asked if a person could be a feminist and still not believe in abortion. A pretty good question, I thought. Aphra answered by saying that a person can if they respect another woman's right to choose. Audience Lady then continued by saying that she was offended by our slide depicting GWB hand in hand with the Pope. She started screaming that she was Catholic, obviously not getting one thing that we were talking about. Because if she would have been paying attention, she would have understood that the slide wasn't calling the Pope gay. We were just saying there's no separation between Church and State. She was obviously one of those on-the-fencers’s. It ended with her screaming her way into the lobby, and out the door. Hilarious! It was so exhilarating!

Michigan accomplished,
Josephine Baker
October 4, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Said goodbye to McCain in Michigan

We had a grand old time in Michigan. A big Bon Voyage party for the man of the hour, John McCain, who had just recently left Michigan with his entire campaign. Not enough promise of winning the state, it seems. The crowd was very live, and they didn't let the recession get 'em down while they were clapping to the Bailout Blues. One woman, during our talkback, freaked out about a picture of the Pope holding hands with George Bush. The entire audience was up in arms with "the catholics molest boys" this and "hey, i'm catholic and we're talking about the marriage of church and state" that and on and on. Quite the party. I actually think the woman that got upset was the pope in a "woman from the audience" costume. He was trying to relax undercover in Farmington Hills, MI with a little entertainment, but it backfired on him. Hit a little too close to home. Thought somebody was sniffing him out. Pope, it's not always about YOU! Sometimes it's about saying farewell to John McCain!

Julia Child

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Sarah Palin is now on a mission to inflame crowds with hate-filled rhetoric. John McCain didn’t dare tread that ground in the debate last night because he doesn’t have to. He’ll let his female running mate do the warlock hunting. And why not? After all, she is a “real” woman. I wonder if Sarah Palin knows that I started my career in the living room of a domestic feminist. Yes that’s right. In mid 1997 I received a phone call from Gertrude Stein who asked if I might be interested in becoming a Guerrilla Girl. I was invited to a meeting in her living room along with other potential members of the activist feminist group. It wasn’t scary. We even had cake. And that started my career as an activist figuring out ways to humorously address women’s issues. Today that means the economy. If I’m not avoiding the economy why are you?

Aphra Behn

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Each year Guerrilla Girls On Tour posts a “Girlcott List” on our web site listing theatres across the US that will produce no plays by women in their current seasons. In anticipation of our 2008-09 list coming out, we thought you would like to see which NYC area theatres made our previous Girlcott Lists. The information was complied from each theatres own web sites in the fall of each season. Here they are:


2003-04 SEASON
The Roundabout Theatre Company
Classical Theatre of Harlem
Playwrights Horizons
Vineyard Theatre
Jean Cocteau Rep
Goodspeed Opera House
New Jersey Shakespeare Festival
The Acting Company
Atlantic Theatre Company
The Lark Theatre Company
Lincoln Center Theatre
Signature Theatre Company
Target Margin Theatre
Theatre for a New Audience
Hartford Stage Company
Long Wharf Theatre

2004–05 SEASON
The Roundabout Theatre Company
The Acting Company
The Public Theatre
13th Street Repertory Company
Classic Stage Company
Theatre for a New Audience
York Theatre Company
Atlantic Theatre Company
Classical Theatre of Harlem
adobe theatre company
Playwrights Theater of New Jersey
Jean Cocteau Rep
Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Yale School of Drama
Long Wharf Theatre

2005-06 SEASON
Atlantic Theatre Company
Roundabout Theater
The Acting Company
Thirteenth Street Repertory Theater Co.
Classic Stage Company
Theatre for a New Audience
Jean Cocteau Repertory

2006-07 SEASON
Roundabout Theatre
Theatre for a New Audience
Classical Theatre of Harlem
Adobe Theatre Company
Jean Cocteau Repertory
Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Manhattan Theatre Club
Paper Mill Playhouse

2007-08 SEASON
Roundabout Theatre
Rattlestick Theatre
The New Group
Classical Theatre of Harlem
Jean Cocteau Repertory
Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Yale School of Drama

Monday, October 6, 2008


We opened our 2008-09 touring season at Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, just outside of Detroit, on October 3rd, 2008. Julia Child and Josephine Baker joined me in the new version of our show "Feminists Are Funny" which we performed at the Smith Theatre on campus to a raucous crowd. We had added many new bits to the show that we performed for the first time – notably our Sarah Palin song “My Name Is Sarah Palin” sung to the tune of “The Times They Are A Changin”. Luckily McCain pulled out of Michigan the day before – I think he caught wind of our performance – and thus, we were able to quickly come up with the “John McCain Blues” on the flight from LGA to end the show. We all agreed that Michigan was too “blue” for McCain and believed that a blues number would be an appropriate send off. Here’s a bit of that song:


In sisterhood,
- Aphra Behn

Sunday, October 5, 2008


By the mid-nineties the anonymous activist group, Guerrilla Girls, had expanded to include not only visual artists, but also actors, directors, playwrights, performance artists, costume designers and filmmakers. In 1997 I, as Guerrilla Girl Aphra Behn, along with Guerrilla Girl Lorraine Hansberry, initiated a GG committee to discuss how we could address the lack of opportunities for women in film and theatre. Because postering had become increasingly difficult and because plays and films were shown inside of theatres, we decided to begin by creating satirical stickers to paste up inside theatre toilet stalls that would amuse and provoke the audience. The stickers read: In this theatre, the taking of photographs, the use of a recording device and the production of plays by women is strictly prohibited.* – The Management. *This theatre will not produce any plays by women this season. We worked our way across Manhattan targeting sexist theatres like the Atlantic Theatre, Vineyard Theatre and The Roundabout Theatre. Some of these theatres quickly added women playwrights to their next seasons.

During the next three years our film and theatre committee created over 16 posters, stickers and actions that used quick, smart humor to focus on sexism, racism and discrimination in the theatre world. We invented the Fax blitz - a series of new posters faxed to theatre producers across the US during Women's History month. We put on our masks and hit the streets - passing out stickers at the TKTS booth in Times Square and organizing two Tony Awards protests in 1999 and 2000. In 2000 Lorraine and I received a NYSCA grant to research and write a play based on the history of women in American theatre. The play was included in A.S.K's Common Ground Festival in 2001, the same year the GG's received the Art is a Hammer Award from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. Our committee had attracted new GG attention and support and was written about in the Village Voice, BackStage, Mother Jones, Theatre Magazine and the LA Times.

In 2001 the original Guerrilla Girls split into three separate wings and the film and theatre committee became Guerrilla Girls On Tour – Theatre Girls dedicated to bringing the spirit of feminism, activism and performance around the world. We have since become an internationally acclaimed anonymous theatre collective producing new theatre, visual works and performances that tread the ground between entertainment and education, between two and three-dimensional art, between comedy and drama. Our theatrical pieces use comedic, physical, and vaudevillian-like techniques to dramatize women’s history and address current sexist trends. We have worked as an ensemble and with outside communities, creating site-specific works performed with local activists/artists in a variety of languages. In order to put the focus of our work entirely on the issue of discrimination and racism, each member of Guerrilla Girls On Tour performs using the name of a dead woman artist and when in public and on stage wears a gorilla mask to conceal her true identity.

Since 2001 Guerrilla Girls On Tour has proven that feminists are funny in over 200 performances and 100 workshops in theatres, classrooms, art galleries, community centers, cafes and the great outdoors. We have been featured in many festivals in the US, UK, Poland, Argentina, South Korea, Spain, Ireland, Japan, China and France. You can find us at

Members of Guerrilla Girls On Tour:
Gracie Allen, Josephine Baker, Aphra Behn, Lili Boulanger, Fanny Brice, Louise Brooks, Coco Chanel, Julia Child, Alice Childress, Cheryl Crawford, Edith Evans, Alexandra Exter, Hallie Flanagan, Lady Augusta Gregory , Lorraine Hansberry, Frances Harper, Edith Head, Laura Keene, Eva Le Gallienne, Lisa Lopes, Dorothy Parker, Diana Sands, Anne Sexton, Sophie Treadwell, Lupe Velez, Ethel Waters, Anna May Wong.