Play talks feminist choices, struggles

By Danielle Bettendorf Asst. living and arts editor

“Alan’s Wife,” a 19th century feminist play, will be performed by Susquehanna students from March 2 to March 5 in Weber Chapel Auditorium.

“Alan’s Wife” is a play in three acts that follows Jean Creyke, a woman who worships strength and beauty.

“It’s a very tragic drama that a woman goes through, where she does something really terrible and is willing to face the consequences for it,” said senior Josh Ramiandrisoa, who plays a prison guard.

The play also emphasizes the choices of women and how society has treated women throughout time.

“[The play is about] the struggles that women have had all throughout history,” said senior Hunter Brady, who plays Jean. “Of not being able to make decisions for themselves, and then making decisions for themselves that aren’t simply down to marriage, not having the right to marry who you want, but then when you do get that right you’re judged for it, women having control of their bodies and all that jazz, that’s all coming to the forefront this time around.”

“It’s fascinating to bring yourself back to a time when who you married was such a big deal,” Brady continued.

The play is directed by Anna Andes, associate professor of theatre. Andes specializes in feminist plays and other works with similar themes, according to Brady.

“I’ve never heard of a plot like this before,” Ramiandrisoa said.

“It’s a very heavy plotline, but it’s also an educational show,” Brady said. “One thing I love about this director is [that] she always picks very educational shows.”

“People sitting in the audience will be like, ‘Whoa, that’s a little fascinating,’ and then they’ll do some research and be like, ‘Wow, this is a real problem with hysteria and women,’” Brady continued.

Brady also emphasized the obscure nature of the play, which gave the students room to expand from the script.

“It’s [a] very workshop theater kind of a show,” Brady said. “It’s not widely produced; the only access you have to it is a PDF file [online].”

Brady and Ramiandrisoa also noted the simplicity of the show, which runs for about one hour and utilizes a minimalistic style.

“I think it’s the most raw performance that we have done,” Brady said. “There’s no set, really: there’s some chairs, some props [and] simple costumes. It’s very basic black box style.”

“It’s a very tight space,” Ramiandrisoa added.

“It’s also being performed in a space that’s not regularly used for this purpose,” Brady said.

Brady also noted the different structure of the stage, which places the audience around the actors.

“It’s in a round, it’s not just sitting in an audience,” Brady said. “There’s audience on all three sides of us, which is unique, so it’s kind of like you’re sitting in the play.”

Brady emphasized the relevance of theater to society and the impact that it can have on members of the audience.

“Theater is so important, and I think it goes bigger than just this show,” Brady said. “I hope that audience members gain a new appreciation for theater and how simple and how honest it can be.”

“And even how fun it can be,” Ramiandrisoa added.

“There’s so much theater out there that people know nothing about, including actors,” Brady said. “It’s so important to take every opportunity you get to just see it.”

“Even if you just walk away saying, ‘Well, that was OK,’ you still opened a door to a conversation,” Brady continued.

The performances from March 2 to March 4 will take place at 7:30 p.m., and the performance on March 5 will take place at 2:30 p.m.

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