10th Annual DIVAfest May 5 – May 28, 2011
Eleanor by Margery Fairchild
A dramatization of the exploits of the French queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. A strong female sovereign alongside both of her husbands, as well as in her own right, Eleanor established the notion of courtship and romantic love in a way that forever transformed the role of women in the west. As a central figure in the chivalric code of courtly love, Eleanor, a true “lioness in winter”, showed that women were more than a piece of property sold by a marriage contract and expected to turn into well-behaved bearers of male children. With her influence a woman’s attention became something to fight for and earn. For centuries Eleanor has been condemned by writers and only now is her true contribution coming to light. Fairchild’s Eleanor imaginatively furthers this new insight into a true diva of history.
Lucky Girl by Frances Driscoll and Tom Juarez
Lucky Girl is the true story of a woman piecing together the shards of a life shattered by rape. This collection of poems from Frances Driscoll’s book, The Rape Poems, embraces the denial, the acceptance, the suicidal thoughts and the humor experienced in the aftermath of a rape. It’s about the messiness of our reactions to the events that happen to us, responses that are often contradictory. It’s about learning to live with and accept that messiness as part of life. Ms. Driscoll’s text distills a universe of emotion. In this new solo show performed by Cheryl Smith, we can see and hear the universe behind her words. Often painful, Lucky Girl, is also beautiful, heartbreaking, quirky and funny.
A Most Notorious Woman by Maggie Cronin
Grace “Grania” O’Malley, the hussy who hath indeed impudently stepped o’er the bounds of womanhood”, is the center character in playwright Maggie Cronin’s story of the Irish pirate queen. Set against a backdrop of an Ireland soon to be lost forever, an Ireland on the cusp of history, this solo piece performed by Christina Augello, follows Grace from a young defiant girl to her historic meeting with England’s Queen Elizabeth in 1593 at the age of 63. Driven by a fervent love of the sea and a fierce loyalty to the Gaelic way of life, Grace became a “cut throat, cut purse sailor woman”, a symbol of national defiance, “a nursemaid to every rebellion in Connaught”. Hard-nosed businesswoman… barbarian… woman in love… romantic heroine… all are revealed in this “absorbing and multi-layered portrait of a most bewitching and infuriating historical figure.”
You Can’t Play Guitar When You’re Dead – An Ironic Optimist’s Guide to the Universe! by Carrie Baum Love
The unlikely and often unnoticed (let alone sung about) experiences that make life worth living, a tour of our universe that you aren’t likely to forget!
Melissa Lyn, Singer Songwriter
Melissa Lyn, born and raised in the Twin Cities, classifies her music as “alternative folk.” Her set list includes “Good to You,” an inspirational song written for her younger brother, “Next Time,” a would-be love song, and “Time Spent Trying,” an ode to a worry-wart.
Diane di Prima, “What’s New?”
Poetry reading by Beat icon and current San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima. In her 7th annual solo appearance for EXIT Theatre’s DIVAfest, she will read several of her poems, unpublished and “slightly published,” over the past five years.