In light of the recent Chicago Reader story regarding alleged incidents of abuse/harassment that have taken place at Profiles Theatre, we thought it might be appropriate to spotlight those who are tackling the gravity of abuse through the act of storytelling on our stages.
Here’s a list of productions that address these issues head-on. Perhaps these stories will do more than entertain, but educate those who are ignorant to the realities, and nuances, of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
(Shoutout to the Hollywood Fringe Festival, in particular, which provides a platform for so many artists to share daring new work — including these types of stories of abuse — each summer in LA.)
And by the way, Chicago, Los Angeles has your back. Stay strong, and keep making great theatre.
When 3 iconic female characters escape the traditional narratives that bind them, they finally become the subjects of, rather than objects in, their own stories. Together they discover what it means to have an autonomous voice. Devised by an ensemble of 3 women.
In this daring dramedy, performer Michelle Jewsbury opens up about the harsh realities of her personal experience and shines a spotlight on an all too common issue that both men and women face: Domestic Violence. With her honest, bold and brave approach, Michelle, under the sharp direction of acclaimed solo artist and director Jessica Lynn Johnson, uses But I Love Him as an in depth exploration of the very raw cycle of abuse and what it means to be a victim.
Michelle will also be hosting a domestic violence seminar during the Fringe. More info here.
Minnie. Mary. Thelma. Martha. Maricela. These are the badass women who have raised our protagonist, Jennifer, a recent college graduate who has just been “graped”. Grape is the newest, hottest term out there for grey rape, which is “a sexual assault that does not fit into the stereotypical confines of rape, but where lines of consent have been misconstrued”. Unable to bring her grapist to justice in a court of law, Jennifer decides she must kill him. But she’ll need all the help she can get from the women who know her best, the MMHMM.
Recommended for: teens, college students, adults, elderly, rape survivors, people that like laughing and then crying immediately after, sexy suffragettes, men (who agree with female equality), “boss-ass bitches”, the ghost of Maya Angelou, and Francis McDormand. Oh, and the singer who wrote “Fight Song”. She’s MORE than invited.
Explored Themes: What is strength?, What does it take to be a strong woman?, What is justice?, What is the justifiable punishment for “accidental rape”?, Rape Culture in America, The many viewpoint of rape and sexual assault, and What is true healing?
Part 1, Grief. Mary is struggling to deal with the death of her unborn child and boyfriend while being expected to play the real of the perfect daughter. She is a mask on the inside her inner voice is of primal rage. Part 2, A Butterfly Dreams. Michael is a young man who is abused and bullied. He lives between realities and eventually must choose.
Agnes and Valerie are half-sister strippers on a rampage, screwing and killing their way through every hotel room across America. Or are they? Reality shifts with the arrival of Desert Storm vet Rodney and his best friend, a wannabe screenwriter named Owen, whose ambitions and fantasies begin to warp the sisters’ story. Special appearance by an aerobicizing Jane Fonda.
That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play is a raucous and raunchy subversion of our culture’s distorted — often downright violent — representations of women.
Based on true stories of up close and personal encounters with those very complicated members of the opposite sex, Cock Tales: Shame on Me! explores self-discovery, betrayal, molestation, guilt, pleasure and love.
Seeking all ages, genders, and ethnicities as audience members for Broads’ Word Ensemble’s new, original comedy MUST BE COMFORTABLE WITH. Ability to laugh at quirks of the casting process a plus. A show that specifically addresses abuse against female actors in the film, television and theatre industries. Everything in the script comes from casting notices and real-life experiences of the actors in the play.