Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going Bananas at Bluestockings

We held our annual GUERRILLA GALa last night at Bluestockings Book Store and Café on the lower east side. Bluestockings is owned by a five-person workers’ collective and is staffed by about 60 volunteers. (The staff was awesome to us all during our GALa).
The store hosts events almost every night and we were lucky to be the featured event last night.

Kudos to GGOT Anne Sexton who single handedly organized the event and arranged for a diverse bunch of about 50 of NYC’s theatre women to arrive at 7PM for the schmooze. We had young and old with both long and short resumes in attendance as well as representatives from organizations like the Women’s Project, Theatre for a New City, Dixon Place and the League of Professional Theatre Women.

I was so impressed and in awe of the women who showed up, who each gave a two minute speech about what they were currently working on and what they hoped to accomplish in the theatre in the next few years. It seemed there was much more hope at this event then there had been at past ones.

I wonder if it’s because of Emily Sands’ economic study on the state of women in theatre or perhaps the impact of the newly formed 50/50 in 20/20 group that hopes to have an equally number of plays by both women and men produced in the US by 2020? Are we theatre women more hopeful that our work will get some much needed attention in years to come?

If so, our 13 plus years of effort trying to shed light on discrimination in theater will have been worth it. But we can’t quite take our masks off yet.

Thanks to Carole Lombard, Edna Lewis, Josephine Baker and Anne Sexton for hosting and organizing the GALa. And please if you have never been you must immediately head downtown to Bluestockings - they also run a free-trade café that serves great soy lattes and organic, vegan treats!

Bluestockings – 172 Allen Street (btw. Stanton & Irvington) – 212-777-6028

Monday, April 26, 2010

From a Baboon Boy

Dear Guerrilla Girls On Tour,
When I was a Sophomore in college I had the honor of seeing your performance of "Feminists of Funny". From that point on my life was changed, so much so in fact that I added a gender/women's studies major to my degree. I recently came across a situation that required all my Guerrilla Girl power! I was commissioned to write a one act-for an evening of plays all based on the same original story. Well, I come to find out that ALL the playwrights are WHITE MEN (myself being the only gay one), and NO women were involved at all. As soon as I found out I called the producer and told him I couldn't be a part of the project unless I was able to write from a female characters point of view, as well as have a full cast of Latina women, and to top it all off, my piece would have to be directed by a female. The amazing thing is, the producers totally understood, and were even supportive of my choices once they saw their mistake. This has shown me a few things, 1) Sometimes people need to be made aware of their sexism if they ever want to change it, 2) white, gay, "males", can be feminist super-heroes sometimes, and finally 3) The Guerrilla Girls On Tour change lives wherever they go!!

Your Baboon Boy,

Jean Genet