Friday, March 9, 2012

Williams College Diary #2

March 1, 2012

Williams College


It's nice to ride up the Taconic Parkway to Williamstown, MA with a good cup of coffee in your hands, looking over the snow-covered landscape while The Monkeys play on the radio. Davy Jones has just passed away. He kissed Marcia Brady. I think 'Daydream Believer' was my favorite Monkey's song.

Something to always remember when you are on a road trip - Dunkin Donuts has really good coffee. I like my first cup of coffee for the day with half and half and two sugars regardless of the size of the coffee. At the road stop I pay and leave without my coffee. The woman working behind the register yells over "You want your coffee?" I do. I do want my coffee.

I haven't spent much time in the Berkshires. It is beautiful. The horses are shaggy and are all wearing blankets. I find that endearing. The barns that are falling down even though they are loaded with brand new equipment confuse me. We pass many of them. I suppose it is too expensive to fix a barn. We pass the Country Store in Chatham, NY, which brings back childhood memories for Aphra. Ask her about them – her email is on our web site.

Now to the point of this entry: The Williams College show. The mainstage at the ’62 Center is beautiful. It’s the largest stage we've performed on this year. It’s the theatre that the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) uses. Not all colleges and universities have actual theaters like this. The dressing room and green room are huge. Everyone we meet and work with is amazing. We will be the only play written by a woman to perform on this stage this season. And there you have it.

Women playwrights do not get produced. I'm impressed with the number of female playwrights who produce their own work because they will die if their story doesn't get told. This means renting a theater, paying the actors/directors, advertising, etc. Which in other jobs would be just like:

- If a female playwright were a surgeon to be 'produced' she would have to rent an operating room and pay someone to operate on.

or even worse:

- If a female playwright were a surgeon who couldn't 'produce' herself, she would work all day at her 'I'm an administrator in a hospital job and play 'Operation' all evening.

and the final straw:

- If a female playwright were a surgeon who could not produce herself or bear to be in a hospital because it wasn't what she was trained for, she would have to buy a menagerie of Barbie’s and Kens from Wall Mart (super center), come home every night from 'some' job, remove Barbie's appendix, fix Ken's hernia, eat a pint of ice cream and go to bed.


Edith Evans

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reports From The Front: Williams College, MA

Bea Arthur and Edith Evans backstage at WTF!

March 1, 2012

Williams College, Williamstown, MA

Dear Diary and Future Feminists who may discover this (Hint: Sell the movie rights and make millions!)

Guerrilla Girls On Tour! took Williams College by storm! We were delighted to perform on the ’62 Center Main Stage right in the heart of campus, a stunning modern venue with not only great acoustics, comfortable seats and amazing technical capabilities but also several dressing rooms that could count as luxury apartments by Manhattan standards. This theater is also the home of the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival, commonly referred to by the Guerrilla Girls On Tour! as “WTF” to reflect the lack of plays by women in past and future seasons. (UGH!) Once the news spreads about how thrilling, moving and hilarious our performance of “Feminists are Funny” is, I hope Jenny Gersten will be inspired to “rock out with her vagina out” and choose more plays by women for Williamstown in the future (and more female directors please!)
L to R: Aphra Behn, Me (Bea Arthur) Allison (our sound tech) and Edith Evans

This audience certainly enjoyed seeing our show….they were very enthusiastic in both their sing-a-longs and in their roistering for more bananas. We were generously supported by an almost all-woman tech staff- (how appropriate!). During our “Announcements from the Audience” section of the show, I noticed there was also a good amount of activities on campus that are featuring women directors, playwrights, choreographers and film makers. Go Williams College! I will certainly be back to bathe in your enthusiasm (and $5 burger specials at the Purple Pub).

Xx-Bea Arthur