YUCK! I hate that my inclination was to start this with, behind every strong man there is a strong woman. It was my brain being tongue in cheek but, Heteronormative,
Patriarchal and Trite? I can do better. We can all do better. One of the ringing questions I hear about our title THESE ARE THE MEN is, “Isn't your version based on Jocasta's perspective?” They are not wrong. It is.
Which is exactly why we took this work on. Critically, to think about it, that is what we are doing. Claiming a perspective. A command. And I could talk about the fresh perspective, the complicated characters, the loaded plot points that most know about or the slightly gruesome and awesome experience the audience can entertain while they watch this crazy play we made called THESE ARE THE MEN. That's not my job or goal here. I’m here to celebrate the women writers, costume designers, directors, actors, dramaturg & stage manager bringing this work from page to stage.
Obviously we love collaboration here at Savage Umbrella. Love it. We sing it to the roof tops. Pontificate on it. Talk about it with whomever will listen. Sometimes we even talk about it when people aren't listening...if we have ever been unclear hear us now: we believe collaboratively creating work makes the best work.
While it’s common for our company members and guest performers to collaborate and work with each other outside of SU projects. It’s fairly uncommon for designers to join us on a project with a rich history of collaborating together. Not true on THESE ARE THE MEN! Scenic Designer Brian Proball and Lighting Designer James Eischen have been working together since 2006.
Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors. The book that started my love affair with his pointed, tender humanist, science fiction was Slaughterhouse-Five, which I read in John Podas’ 12th grade English Lit class at Highland Park Senior High School. After Slaughterhouse-Five came Breakfast of Champions, Galapagos, Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!, Timequake, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, his essays, and, well, you get the point.
But Slaughterhouse-Five will always be the book that I come back to for Vonnegut, and as a touchstone to my understanding of the world. Amidst the brutality and stupidity of the firebombing of Dresden and the Second World War, in the strangeness of Kilgore Trout’s science fiction worlds, of alien abductions and captivity, porn stars and brigadier generals – in all that absurdity, Vonnegut found the people. That’s the art of it.
3 Shows in a Row with Some Sexy Savages
When I saw Emma Woodhouse is not a Bitch almost exactly 2 years ago, I remember thinking,
"what a cool group of people....I'd love to work with these folks at some point...Emma Woodhouse is definitely not a bitch..." Imagine how exciting it was to not only be asked to perform in two workshops in a row (VINLAND and HOUSE PARTY) but to be cast for their first full production as a part of Artshare at the Southern (THESE ARE THE MEN). Never have I ever performed in the majority of a production company's season *takes a chug*