Secret life of girls exposed (City of Johannesburg Arts & Culture)
Originally published in:
City of Johannesburg Arts & Culture
Written by Romaana Naidoo
The latest work by controversial playwright Eve Ensler is on at the Market. It retells the stories of girls and women from around the world.
THE universality of womanhood will be played out on a Joburg stage, through ranting, poetry, questions and facts, giving the audiences a deeper understanding of the issues women and girls face each day.
Their resilience, wildness, pain, fears, secrets and triumphs will be exposed in Eve Ensler’s latest play, I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls, on at the Market Theatre in Newtown from 15 to 27 July.
The play comes in the run-up to Women’s Month, observed in August. In South Africa, Women’s Day is on 9 August. Ensler’s previous works include the famous, and controversial, The Vagina Monologues.
Her newer work is composed of fictional monologues and stories, inspired by the tales and musings of girls from around the world.
Among their voices is a young woman who is struggling to ask her boyfriend to wear a condom; an anorexic who is blogging as eats less and less; a Masai girl from Kenya who is unwillingly to endure female genital mutilation; a Chinese factory worker who is making Barbie Dolls; and a pregnant girl trying to make up her mind about keeping the baby.
According to the Market Theatre, Ensler moves through a world of varied emotions, with fierce voices, alive, tender, complicated, imaginative and smart.
“Girls today often find themselves in a struggle between remaining strong and true to themselves and conforming to society’s expectations in an attempt to please. They are taught not to be too intense, too passionate, too smart, too caring, too open. They are encouraged to shut down their instincts, their outrage, their desires and their dreams, to be polite, to obey the rules,” notes the theatre.
“I Am An Emotional Creature is a celebration of the authentic voice inside every girl and an inspiring call to action for girls everywhere to speak up, follow their dreams, and become the women they were always meant to be.”
Tumi Rametsi, the show’s public relations officer, it gives full expression to girls’ innermost thoughts and secret voices, and highlights the diversity and commonality of the issues with which they grapple.
Ensler was recognised in the Tony Awards, Broadway’s highest honours, on 12 June. She received the Isabelle Stevenson Award, which pays tribute to members of the theatre community for their humanitarian efforts.
She is the founder of V-Day, is a global activist movement bent on shattering taboos and transforming communities to end violence against women and girls. It has raised more than R500-million for this cause.
V-Girls is based on V-Day’s model of art and activism. It is a global network of girl activists who empower themselves and one another to create the change they imagine for the world. Inspired by I Am An Emotional Creature, V-Girls is a way for girls to amplify their voices and ignite their activism.
South African playwright and director Athol Fugard also won a special Tony Award this year, receiving a lifetime achievement award.
I Am An Emotional Creature is on at the Market Theatre in Newtown, on Tuesdays to Fridays at 8pm, on Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and on Sundays at 3pm. Tickets cost from R66 to R140, and are available at Computicket.