Here are seven short plays about the social and emotional dilemmas faced by women in the US over the past 100 years. The 5inaHIVE Production’s mission is to produce theater by and about women which, in this case, they do superbly. There’s no male bashing here, but an honest view of American women’s ongoing battle to retain dignity and awareness. Told out of sequence, with humor and meaning, the impact is strong and the irony ever present.
In historic sequence: (1917) a suffragette awakens a dormant rebellion in a conventional woman; (1945) a woman in WW2 has discovered the pleasure and camaraderie of hard work; (1955) three generations are divided over illegal abortion at the possible cost of a young girls life;
(1962) the dubious liberation of being bra-less in the Flower Child decade; (1992) some airline stewardesses differ over what exactly is sexual harassment; (2011) the stand-by-your-man good wife is faced by a humiliating political scandal, and (2015) the bone-chilling efficiency of the modern executive is pitted against those who fought the battles that got her there.
All of these engaging playlets are performed brilliantly by the same three women in vastly different guises. Joanna Miles is the sagacious one; Julie Janney the thoughtful learner, and Kimberly Alexander the callow youngster. Each one amazingly transforms into vastly different characters, yet all lend weight to the theme of women discovering their power and place in the world.
Plaudits to authors Bonnie Garvin, Lorin Howard, Nikki McCauley, Deborah Pearl, Susanna Styron, producer Bridget Terry, and actress Miles. All are well served by directors Iris Merlis, Maria Gobetti, Jenny O’Hara and Terry. Set and lighting by Tom Meleck are enhanced by fabulous video projections credited to Fritz Davis and transformative costumes by Betty Madden.
At Working Stage Theater, 1516 N Gardner St. Hollywood, through May 17. For tickets: 323-960-7724 or https://www.plays411.com/wotime.
Photos by Vanessa Mirabal