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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!


Love,
Julia Child
www.ggontour.com

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WARLOCK HUNT


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
www.ggontour.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

GIRLCOTT LISTS NYC THEATRE

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:

THE FOLLOWING THEATRES PRODUCED NO PLAYS BY WOMEN ON THEIR MAIN STAGES:

2003-04 SEASON
Rattlestick
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
Rattlestick
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
Rattlestick
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

www.ggontour.com

Monday, October 6, 2008

GGOT SEASON OPENS

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:

I AM A PRO CHOICE WOMAN
BUT MY RIGHTS ARE MOVING SLOW
INSTEAD OF CONTRACEPTION
JOHN WANTS ME TO JUST SAY NO
I GOT THE MCCAIN BLUES
IT’S LIKE THE PRO CHOICE BLUES
IT’S MY BODY AND MY CHOICE
BUT NOT WITH JOHN MCCAIN

In sisterhood,
- Aphra Behn
- www.ggontour.com

Sunday, October 5, 2008

HOW GUERRILLA GIRLS ON TOUR! BEGAN

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 www.ggontour.com

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.