AS I AM NOW
Co- Creators: Emily Powrie & Glo McDonald
Set Designer: Emily Powrie
Lighting Designer: Joseph Crumlish
Costume Designer: Jessica Wegrzyn
Dramaturg: Marni Stone
SUNY University at Buffalo
Student Directed Series 2018
In the wake of the #metoo and #yesallwomen movements, great change has been made. Women have been given a platform to speak up and share their stories. As we began this process of devising this piece, we asked ourselves what has already been said within these movements and what do we, both as co-creators and as apart of the ensemble, have to say? Where have we been silenced? Can we make the space we need to be heard and how do we begin to answer such questions?
We took deep inspiration from Ibsen’s play, A Doll’s House, Nora’s character, and from Ibsen’s infamous “door slam heard round the world.” What was on the other side of that door for Nora and what did she experience after walking out? Ibsen wrote his play in 1879 and though it was not his intention, it was seen as a monumental piece of theatre that supported women’s rights. The play opens with the main character, Nora, getting ready for Christmas and we eventually come to learn that she is frequently viewed as a precious doll, a lovely little skylark, and ultimately as a person who is “incapable of anything serious.” But, Nora is in fact more capable than the people around her realize and before she shuts the door on the only life she’d known, she says, “I must stand on my own feet if I am to find out the truth about myself and about life.” 140 years later, we turned to Ibsen’s play as the foundation of our show because we realize that we are not so unlike Nora. We seek to know the truth about ourselves, the world around us, and to be seen as more than precious, little songbirds.
Through the original work of the ensemble, we came to discover that the greatest gift we have been given through the #metoo and #yesallwomen movements was the platform to come together and speak out. This process started with just the two of us asking a group of very brave people to join us in making something from nothing more than an idea. There was no script to start. We entered into an empty rehearsal room, put our heads, hearts, and talents together and created a piece about finding the strength in our own voices as well as an exploration in the importance of allyship. It has been a beautiful experience to watch our ensemble grow and take risks and try out new ways of approaching and exploring this material.
As co-creators we both believe that theatre in community is so vital and is a platform that can bring people with a multitude of backgrounds together. We hope that this piece of theatre continues to evolve into a work that allows more people to speak up and let their voices be heard. We hope that when you leave the theatre today, you have the courage to use your own voice and know that you are here and you are important just the way you are.
Emily & Glo