Shutters

A triple bill of unique American plays that explores the extraordinary journey of women over the last century. Featuring an all-female ensemble performing both male and female roles. Susan Glaspell’s ‘Trifles’, considered an iconic work of early feminism, and introducing two European premieres by Chicago playwrights Brooke Allen and Philip Dawkins: ‘The Deer’ and ‘Cast of Characters’.

Trifles

Farmer John Wright has been murdered. While he lay asleep in the middle of the night, someone strung a rope around his neck. And that someone might have been his wife, the quiet and forlorn Minnie Wright. Written in 1916, Susan Glaspell’s one-act play Trifles is loosely based on true events. As a young reporter, Glaspell covered a murder case in a small town in Iowa. Years later she crafter a short play inspired by her experiences, using it to reflect on the seismic changes she observed in the social roles of the women of her age. Pulitzer Prize-winner Susan Glaspell’s celebrated 1916 play is an iconic example of early feminist writing and a masterfully crafted thriller.

Cast of Characters

In Cast of Characters, playwright Philip Dawkins creates a detailed, rich portrait of a family in stagnation through a simple recitation of the character list for a play we never see. Through the descriptions of each character, we become immersed and engaged in the lives of the three and a half sisters. An ageing mother is confused, a brother feels isolated, sisters criticise and harp on each other, there’s water aerobics, infertility and a partner named Rod. Despite each of the characters determination to do nothing, they find themselves deeply intertwined in each other’s lives. Philip, has received national acclaim and a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for his 2011 work ‘The Homosexuals’, he is also an artist-in-residence at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

The Deer

Clara got a degree in history, and she works in a bar. Russ is dropping out to get experience, see the world, and tag snow banks. John hasn’t written the Great American anything. The deer is a deer, and he’s been hit by a car. As the snow falls on the wreckage, all four confront the wild edges of existence, clutching at memory and pawing through ash to arrive in the crisp but painful present. Brooke Allen’s The Deer is a lyrical exploration of death, love, and obligation that celebrates moments of connection, the natural world, and pie – a delicately tragic story of a woman’s attempt to deal with her grief.
Brooke has just been nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for her play ‘The Life and Death of Madam Barker’ and is artist-in-residence at Chicago’s Red Tape Theatre.

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