Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, December 15, 2018

Theater major opens AU Players season with impassioned one-woman show

‘If my gender was a gun, I wouldn’t have to write this play,’’ playwright said

Theater major opens AU Players season with impassioned one-woman show

As audiences walked into Katzen 112 on Friday, Oct. 6, a sign just outside the door read: “What would a better world for women look like?”

This is a theme that continued throughout the night, as senior theater performance major Megan Ann Robbins performed her one-woman show produced by AU Players, "If My Gender Was A Gun."

Robbins began developing this piece two years ago in a Solo Performance class her sophomore year. Inspired by her own experiences as a bisexual woman in today’s society, she connected various events from her life to tell her own story and voice her feminism. The production was directed by College of Arts and Sciences senior Carolina Chaimovich and stage managed by School of Public Affairs freshman Rachel Abraham.

Robbins started and ended the performance with a poem entitled “If My Gender Was a Gun,” the driving force behind the entire piece. There was passion and fire in her eyes as she spoke of daily challenges she faces as a woman, such as feeling objectified in class and on the streets. In between each segment of the show, lively feminist pop anthems emphasized the mood, such as Meghan Trainor’s “No.”

In one particularly poignant moment of the show, Robbins reenacted a conversation that she had with a friend, when she discovered that this friend supported Donald Trump─a friend that, up until that point, she said she thought was a decent human being. Upon this realization, she said she was unsettled that this person supported a man who disrespects women and people of color. Her portrayal of this event felt very real and visceral. Robbins’ ability to take such an important and life-changing moment and share it with the AU community was incredibly powerful.

Robbins reached out to the audience, asking them for their personal stories about what was happening on stage. “How many of the women here carry something with you to protect yourselves when you go out at night?” she asked. The vast majority of women in the audience raised their hands.

Another highlight was when she brought out a poster of Donald Trump and asked audience members to say whatever they wanted to say to him. The amount of expletives used against him was immense and incredibly satisfying to hear.

Most notably, in the middle of the show, Robbins rolled out a whiteboard and asked the audience: What do we need to make this world a better world for women? Audience members called out responses that Robbins wrote on the board: “Consent.” “Equal pay.” “Body positivity.” “No women against women.” These answers broke down the divide between actor and audience, allowing the atmosphere to become even more comfortable and the performance space to transform into a safe space.

It would be so interesting to know what this show was like when it first started and how it evolved over time. As the United States’ political climate continued to worsen, how did her political thinking about current events shape the piece? In any case, this show as it is right now was a wonderful reflection of where the United States is politically and socially at the moment.  

As I prepared to leave Katzen, I stopped by the table where AU Players e-board members had buckets set aside to raise money for Planned Parenthood and the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, hurricane in Puerto Rico and earthquake in Mexico City. I thought about the show I just watched. I thought about what I could do to start making a change.

I left a dollar in every bucket.

dignacio@theeagleonline.com


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