Feminism is a term used very often at Baltimore School of the Arts, which is not a bad thing, necessarily. This school year, it has taken on a whole new meaning because three ambitious juniors in the Theater department decided to produce a show about feminism and what feminism means to them. Eve Plank, Micheala Gilliard, and Abby Pelton have gathered input from their peers to ensure the success of this endeavor. Since the spring of their sophomore year, these three ladies have crafted scenes about rape culture, historical events and figures, and gender role reversal. They have held rehearsals for the past two months in various classrooms. The cast is made up of the Music Department and Theater Department. Eve, Micheala, and Abby are all direct different scenes in this 45 minute show. The school has given permission for them to perform their play, and the date been set for sixth period on November 20th 2015.
Eve Plank, Junior actor, spoke with me about her original ideas and motivations for this show. She says that she felt that women’s history wasn’t inclusive enough, and not taught as in depth as the females at our school would like it to be. Garry Mogge, Junior stage tech, and Plank agree that rehearsals have been tough for various reasons, like missed communication, grueling line memorization, etc. but they truly believe that it will be pulled together into a beautiful performance.
One source stated that this is a great test for the stage techs at BSA. Since they have gotten to BSA, unless doing a school performance, the only way to learn new things and put their skills to work has been hypothetical projects in their classes. This is their project, and they are figuring out how much work it actually is to produce a show on their own.
In that light, I truly applaud them. They managed to create set pieces, scripts, a cast, and a stage crew. Other than the thumbs-up from the school, this is a student-led and student-sustained project, and, frankly, it is put together very well. Baltimore School for the Arts is supposed to be a place that not only helps you get you on your feet in your professional field, but also helps you find out what drives you to work for that cause. That is exactly what these students are doing with this project. I congratulate them for this strong and supported effort to allow people to get a better understanding of what Feminism is to themselves, and how they perceive it in our society.
You see, November seems to be a good month for feminism. November 12th, 1815, Elizabeth Stanton was born. Stanton, while working with Lucretia Mott, was at the forefront of the feminist movement. She created the Declaration of Sentiments for Women which outlines the rights she wanted for women. She wanted them to have their own voice and to have control over their body and who can do what with them. Two hundred years and eight days later, there is a show solely dedicated to feminism and getting people to understand what the importance of the feminist movement was. Showcasing feminism for an hour to high-school students won’t change the preconceived notions about feminism, but it is surely a step in the right direction.