Sunday, March 18, 2012

National Hug A Cornhusker DAY!

With Edith Evans in front of the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NE!

March 12, 2012

University of Nebraska at Lincoln,

A love letter to the jewel of the Midwest:

“From the East coast to the West (and in the center of the Heartland!), Women are the best” and so are the audiences that support them in Lincoln, Nebraska! Guerrilla Girls On Tour! continued our 2012 rock star status in the heart of the Midwest. Listen up, New York... Nebraska supports equality for women in the arts and you should too!

We were welcomed with barrels of bananas (and Trader Joes treats) at UNL by Victoria Hoyt, fabulous MFA student, feminist and artist extraordinaire. The day of our show was as warm and sunny as the disposition of the Midwesterners we met in the Hy-Vee supermarket. We frolicked around UNL's lovely campus, embracing opportunities to pose for pictures with cheeky public art works and chewed on reeds of Nebraska straw like the nearby farmers. Oh Lincoln, NE -- with your football stadium that could house the population of 3 states, your surprisingly good statistics for women-directed theater and your legacy of Johnny Carson -- we love you! But I’m getting ahead of myself. We were honored to perform in the beautiful Abbot Theater, which is part of the Sheldon Museum of Art and we were supported by a meticulous tech staff AKA Donny and Jack (thanks guys!).

We ran through our tech smoothly and retired to our backstage area and low and behold we began to hear the enthusiastic yelps of the standing-room-only crowd gathered in the house. Aphra accidentally locked us our of the stage by clicking the stage door shut and we had to call Victoria on her cell to rescue us. I’m blaming it on her mask being too tight.) Anyway, Jack came to our rescue and we were able to hear the flattering introduction we were given by Jorge Daniel Veneciano, the museum director, before taking the stage. The show began and the crowd was electric! Let's just say that we weren't the only ones casting off bras, slips and girdles in the opening number... The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the show, participated whole-heartedly, taking the opportunity to announce many productions, lectures and art openings on campus and in the area. The audience was diverse with many college students, but also parents with children, local theater artists and supporters like the retired farmer we met who is a member of NOW. We were further inspired by Alisha, our student volunteer, who lent to us her talents for the last sketch and song. She also educated us about a Native American female artist who created quilts, named Elmira “Buffalo Bone” Jackson. I am contemplating dropping “Bea” and going by “Buffalo Bone” to give me more street cred but that's not really fair to Alisha so maybe I'll just rock a leather tunic style top.

Me and a sculpture by Tom Otterness at Sheldon Museum of Art

That's more in character for me. Thanks cornhuskers of Lincoln, for making us feel quite at home in your RED state!

xx-Bea Arthur