Written and performed by Kirsten Laurel Caplan
Directed and developed with Jessica Lynn Johnson
At first, Kirsten is thrilled to have discovered the long forgotten American goddess, Columbia- an inspiring symbol of female empowerment! But when Kirsten makes a commitment to anti-racism, she uncovers truths about her family’s history that connects her to Columbia’s own problematic past. Together, they wrestle with being white and female- of being both oppressed and an oppressor. Is liberty for all, just a tease?
What drove you to want to tell this story? What is your favorite part of producing theatre? Why theatre over other art forms?
I love theatre! I am a director and drama teacher, and after directing twenty shows, I was eager to get back on the stage as a performer. I wrote this for my students! I was starting to feel like there were too many burdens we were passing onto our children to solve. We all need role models! Solo Theatre has a long tradition of celebrating authenticity and truth telling. When I was learning about anti-racism and American history, I wrote this show to help me process what I was learning. The theatre is my favorite classroom- because it is not enough to look at facts. In the theatre, we can have a shared experience, with our bodies, our hearts and our minds.
What is the one takeaway you most hope audiences take from seeing your show?
I hope my show sparks curiosity in audience members to look at American history and also their own family history and stories. I hope my show gets people curious about social justice, anti-racist work, and inspires folks to have conversations. I knew nothing about ethnicity and that right there is an interesting conversation about why that is problematic and how so much gain be gained from relationships and connecting with one another. There was so much I didn’t know, I didn’t know! I am so grateful to all the people who have taught me so much and it gives me great joy to share what I learned in an entertaining way.
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