Category Archives: rape

Feminism is the theory, violence is the practice? Good Friday at Oracle Productions


We talk about Oracle Theatre’s new production Good Friday.


In brief: Body/Courage at Rivendell

K. sez:

Danielle Pinnock takes up the mantle of Anna Deavere Smith in this world premiere piece, produced by Rivendell in association with Waltzing Mechanics.  This one-woman show actually features dozens of people, first interviewed and now expertly portrayed by Pinnock under the direction of Megan Carney.  We follow her search for answers to questions about body image, media ideals and the connection between food maladies, on the one hand, and self-hatred and sexual abuse, on the other.  Pinnock is pitch-perfect in her renditions, particularly of her Jamaican grandmothers but also of men both gay and straight, women both cis- and transgender and people of every level of education and income.  If there’s a woman in the world who can’t identify with Pinnock’s struggles, I have yet to meet her.  Highly recommended.  It only runs through the end of the month and Rivendell is not huge, so get your tickets ASAP.


Rape Through Different Lenses: Warped at Stage Left

The Rashomon story—one in which what occurs depends on who’s narrating—originated with a contested account of rape, and it returns to its roots in this world premiere production. Barbara Lhota’s play Warped posits a rape-or-was-it committed by two police officers-or-both-or-one when they give an intoxicated-or-was-she woman a ride home from a violent-or-was-it encounter with a boyfriend-or-was-he.

Director Jason A. Fleece and his cast resist the temptation to put thumbs on the scale of any one interpretation, and leave us with questions rather than answers about what constitutes truth, and what constitutes rape. The company‘s “Partnership for Action” with Rape Victim Advocates seems almost defensive, given the production’s studied neutrality about whether the alleged victim is telling the truth. But the honesty of the two men also comes into question, and we become aware that each of the pair of female detectives assigned to the case has her own prejudices to overcome.

All the performances are strong, with exceptional turns from Kate Black-Spence as the alleged victim and Stage Left/Babes With Blades ensemble member Lisa Herceg as the senior detective. And kudos to scenic designer Stephen Carmody, lighting designer John Kohn III, sound designer Adam Smith and properties master Joshua Hurley for creating a persuasive police car and a bedroom which faces first this way and then that—and then the other—as the increasingly complex story unfolds.

Warped continues Thursdays through Sundays at Stage Left just through next weekend (October 6) at Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont. Tickets are $25-$27. This Sunday (September 29) will feature a post-show discussion of unreliable witnesses in the legal system with Professor Jeffrey Urdangen of Northwestern’s law school.