Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Female of the Species-ACT Theater

The Female of the Species
ACT Theater
June 18th-July18th, 2010

Pride is such a destructive characteristic. It can make you arrogant, unable to admit to your own mistakes, it can cost you the love of your closest friends and family members, and it can even ruin your career. The characters in The Female of the Species, a play directed by Allison Narver, are the perfect example of what pride can do to a person. Joanne Murray-Smith, the Australian author of this play, sets the audience in to the life of Margot Mason (played by Suzy Hunt). Mason is a famous author, extremely well known for her feminist writings and ideas. Mason is a strong, but stubborn woman that believes in no other point of view, but her own, until she meets Molly Rivers (played by Renata Friedman)

Margot Mason (Suzy Hunt) and Molly Rivers (Renata Friedman)

photo by: Chris Bennion

Rivers is a deranged college dropout that shows up at Mason’s house one day while the author is desperately trying to finish her latest book. Rivers has been obsessed with Mason since she was a child; studying her books and taking college writing courses that Mason had taught. Rivers obsession is odd though and not like Mason’s typical fans. Rivers doesn’t admire Mason’s works, she obsessively despises it. Rivers believes that Mason’s feminist advice leads women astray so she shows up at Mason’s house so that she could hold Mason hostage in her own home. Throughout the play, Mason is pressured to apologize to Rivers, in which she is too proud to do. On the other hand, River’s is too prideful to accept herself and instead, blames others why she had a tough childhood. With more characters that come in to play throughout this scandalous farce, including Mason’s unappreciated daughter Tess Thorton (played by Morgan Rowe) and an overly sensitive taxi driver named Frank (played by Tim Hyland) this play contains characters that are full of destructive, but comical pride.

Molly Rivers (Renata Friedman), Tess Thorton (Morgan Rowe), Paul Morgan Stetler (Bryan Thorton), and Margot Mason (Suzy Hunt)

Photo by: Chris Bennion

The Female of the Species is a sassy and outrageous comedy that pokes humor at the Feminist movement. The Feminist movement, which has been growing since it began to flourish in the 1960’s, strives for all women to be treated as equals to men. The humor in this play is ironic though, because it stands for equality among the sexes, but contains both over exaggerated feministic and masculinist jokes. The various genres in humor, however, make the play enjoyable and understandable for everyone. Also, while poking fun at the battle between the sexes, it also shows the truth in humanity. Like stated above, pride is a characteristic in which every human holds and this play shows how damaging it can be if one doesn’t learn how to accept their mistakes and admit to their true identity. The actors throughout the show give an amazing performance that is very funny, but also reveals the emotional depth in each of Smith’s characters. Even though The Female of the Species is considered a comedy, it is very impressive that the cast maintained the main theme of the play, but also revealed the emotional and psychological depth within the story. This is what brings a play to life; it expresses reality. Bravo to the cast of the The Female of the Species and the ACT Theater for bringing such a great show to the community of Seattle.

Review by: Darsha Squartsoff