Natural Shocks, April 20, 2018
EBP participated April 20 in a national campaign of theatre activism to end gun violence by presenting a staged reading of Lauren Gunderson’s new play, Natural Shocks.
Based on Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy, the play features a woman waiting out a tornado in her basement. As the storm rages on, the audience bears witness to her stories and secrets, and learns the intimate details of her relationship with guns. To raise awareness about gun violence, Gunderson waved the royalties for readings the weekend of April 20 for companies who pledged to donate proceeds to organizations like Everytown For Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.
Seven women performed as part of our reading. Their diversity in person and delivery symbolized the scope and scale of domestic abuse in American society. True to our mission and because we believe building character and community decreases violence, proceeds from our reading were used to establish an Arts Education Scholarship. The first scholarship has been awarded to a second-grader from our South Philly community to attend Shakespeare in the Garage Summer Camp this July at Philly PACK.
A panel discussion on gun violence in Philadelphia followed the panel for more on our panelists, please visit the Blog.
V2: Creation Myth, February 23 & 24, 2018
When it premiered on Broadway in 1997, Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues broke ground by giving hundreds of women the opportunity to speak candidly about their bodies and experiences. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the play, Earlie Bird Productions presented in February the world-premiere of V2: Creation Myth.
A sequel of sorts to The Vagina Monologues, V2 continued the conversation of what it is to be a woman in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, as experienced by a group of professional women. Part memoir, part composite experience culled from interviews and listening sessions, the production covered topics such as sexuality, motherhood, race, assault, aging, work, and more, culminating in a new vision of female solidarity and power in America.
Two sold-out performances were held February 23 and 24 at Philly PACK (233 Federal Street). Proceeds from ticket sales and our generous contributors benefited Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, a Philadelphia-based organization committed to social and economic equity for women with low incomes and their families.
Feedback from audiences was tremendous! The work was called "relevant" and "moving." The cast and crew were received as "talented" and "brave." Specifically, it was the Triptych of pieces including two letters written by parents to their young daughters and a tale of sexual abuse that most moved audiences.
The closing vision of a female president and a new kind of America left audiences feeling inspired and hopeful.